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Characters: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Regulars

The other pages are:

Tropes that apply to the Scooby Gang as a whole:

  • Badass Crew: The Scoobies are a handful of humans and vampires that keep all the nasties in the Hellmouth from overrunning the world.
  • Badass Normal: Xander is the most prominent example because he stays relevant even after his friends have become mages or werewolves or Super Soldiers. Giles and Anya also count to a degree.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Buffy and Xander are the most prominent, but they all have their moments.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Not only did they first become friends via slaying, a good fight is generally the best solution to any strife between them.
  • Good Is Not Soft: They're all nice kids and Giles is a British Gentleman, but they've killed a lot of monsters.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: As of Season 8, many people believe them to be a speciesist group preying on vampires.
  • Kid Hero: Most of them started demon fighting when they were back in high school.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill Muggles: The group insists that, while demons are fair game, humans are out of their jurisdiction period, though Buffy is the most adamant on this.

    open/close all folders 

    Buffy Summers 

Buffy Anne Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar)

"Cool! Crossbow! Check out these babies. Goodbye stakes, hello flying fatality."

The Slayer, main heroine, and unofficial leader of the Scoobies (when not fighting with Giles and Faith for control). Barbie with a kung-fu grip. Started out as a reluctant heroine, but grew to accept her destiny. For much of the show's run, she was the only really combat-capable character. Died twice.


  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Every single time her birthday is celebrated on-screen, it's followed by a big-time supernatural incident or crisis, the first of which being the return of Angelus.
  • Action Girl:
    • Word of God states the seed for Buffy was to take the opening of every horror movie and turn it on its head; namely, the dim blonde walks into the dark alley, a monster appears, and the girl rips the monster a new one.
    • The movie and the TV series both feature such a scene: in the film, Buffy is told off for being an idiot. In the pilot episode, she clobbers Angel from above. And in the very first scene of the show, Darla chows down on a creeper while wearing a schoolgirl outfit.
  • Action Fashionista: She has an extensive wardrobe. When joining the Initiative, she turns down their practical black-clad nightgear because it looks too Private Benjamin for her. The exception is when Buffy is having a crisis of confidence and changes into her Dungarees of Doom.
  • Adult Fear: Buffy comes home to find her mother dead on the couch. Buffy, a girl who fights vampires and demons, is reduced to a near catatonic state clearly wondering how long Joyce had been in the house and if she could have been saved. It gets worse several episodes later when, despite the Scoobies' best efforts, her sister Dawn is still captured.
  • Aerith and Bob: As is constantly Lampshaded, Buffy plus About Most of the Cast and Whoever's Left.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Lampshaded by Buffy herself in "Something Blue" when she worries that a nice, safe relationship would lack the intensity.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Buffy and Cordelia have one thing in common.
  • Always Save the Girl: A more familial example: in "The Gift," she flat-out admits that she's perfectly willing to let Glory destroy the world as long as it means she can save and protect Dawn to the very end.
  • Ambiguously Bi: In Season 8 Buffy has sex with Lipstick Lesbian Slayer Satsu, Twice, and then admits she can never return Satsu's affections. Then in Season 9 she thinks she slept with Willow after a night of partying, but didn't. This is likely due to the Buffyverse having No Bisexuals.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: She's the most combat-capable of the Scoobies, and their de facto leader. When she left at the end of season 2, the Scoobies picked up the slack without her, and got curb-stomped by common vampires. It got to the point that, after her death in season 5, the Scoobies had to reactivate and reprogram the Buffybot to make any dent in Sunnydale's demon population.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Buffy being given the Class Protector Award qualifies as a crowning.
  • Badass: As the slayer, she was kicking vampire ass before the series started.
  • Badass Angster: Often angst about her destiny of vampire slayer but especially in season 7 which was outright depression.
  • Badass Boast: To the first Turok-Han:
    "I'm the thing that monsters have nightmares about. And right now, you and me are gonna show 'em why.
  • Bad Liar/Blatant Lies: Buffy exhibits this trait on a few occasions. She seems to subliminally want to be caught out in her Slayer duties, but the adults around her are too wrapped up in denial. In Buffy season 4/Angel season 1, when she chases Faith to L.A. and is arguing with Angel after Faith turns herself in, Buffy insists to Angel that she came because he was in danger (Faith was previously trying to kill him under Wolfram & Hart's employ), but Angel doesn't buy it for a second and accuses her of only coming for vengeance; Buffy doesn't even try to deny that.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: Pulls it off against Angelus at the end of season 2.
  • Bastard Girlfriend: To Spike. It's all fun and games until she realizes she's turned into a funhouse mirror version of Faith, the woman who molested and almost strangled Xander in a fit of pique.
  • Bat Deduction: In Season 6, when Warren kills his ex-girlfriend Katrina and uses magic and time-distorting demons to trick Buffy into thinking that she was the one who did it. Just as she is about to turn herself in to the police and it looks like Warren's Evil Plan will succeed, she overhears the cops identify Katrina's body and immediately realizes Warren's scheme.
  • Battle Couple: With Angel (after he drops the cryptic wise man act), Riley (after he discovers her Secret Identity), and later Spike (once his "lovesick poet" personality comes out to play).
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Spike says that just holding Buffy and watching her sleep was the most beautiful night of his life. Also, after Angel lost his soul, he would watch Buffy sleep (and draw pictures of her). While it was probably to intimidate her, it was established that he had an obsession with her, akin to what he felt for the human Drusilla.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Very sweet and friendly but there is a reason vampires and demons are so afraid of her.
  • Big Sister Instinct: To Dawn. She'd rather risk the world then allow her to be killed.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Eventually comes off as such in season 7, to the extent that both the Scoobies and the Potentials get fed up with her bossiness, as well as having doubts over both her leadership skills and methods, and finally decide that Faith would be a better leader and kick her out. note  This is why she spends most of season 7 with Spike: he's the only one who can still stand to be around her.
  • Blessed with Suck/Cursed with Awesome: Generally she views her slayer powers as a hassle but sometimes they come in handy.
  • Book Dumb: Truth be told, much of her Book Dumbness comes from just being too busy saving humanity to study.
  • Braids of Action: Buffy, when on patrol, has the "two-braids" version. Alternate Buffy, from "The Wish," as the "one-braid" version.
  • Break the Cutie: This is a Josh Whedon production. Cuties are inevitably broken; Season 7.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: She often skipped training or trained on her own time. It wasn't until Season 5 that she took training seriously.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In Season 3's "Helpless," Giles is forced to strip her of her powers using powerful mixtures of adrenaline suppressors and muscle relaxers as part of her Cruciamentum, a rite of passage to test the Slayer's intellect and wit.
  • Bully Hunter: She throws down Larry, defends Xander and Willow and when suspected witches start being targeted she steps in, causing the group of thugs to back off without her saying or doing a thing.
  • Buffy Speak: Trope Namer
  • Fluffy the Terrible
    Xander: Someone has to talk to her, people. That name is striking fear in nobody's hearts.
    • Even her allies can't quite believe it:
    Ancient Guardian: What's your name?
    Buffy: Buffy.
    Ancient Guardian: No, really?
  • Burger Fool: In Season 6 being desperately short of money, she's forced to take a job slinging burgers at the Doublemeat Palace.
  • Came Back Strong: Shortly before her battle with the Master, Buffy overheard from Giles that she was prophesied to die in the struggle. Terrified at the thought of dying young, she was no match for the Master, who easily overpowered her and left her to die in a pool. After being resuscitated (technically 'dying' for a minute), Buffy felt renewed strength at cheating fate and faced the Master again and won.
  • Came Back Wrong: What Buffy believes she has becomes in Season 6, after Willow reanimates her cadaver using dark rites and blood of animals. Indeed, Spike's chip no longer reads her as human. Ultimately subverted; the spell only altered her molecular structure very slightly, but just enough to confuse Spike's chip.
  • The Cast Show Off: All that ass Buffy kicks? Sarah Michelle Gellar is in fact a kickboxer and black belt in tae kwon do. That won't do for the Gods of Irony. Therefore, Gellar also happens to be terrified of graveyards.
  • Casual Kink: Bondage, BDSM, handcuffs, spanking, naughty outfits, porn and biting are suggested to be just some of her interests. Yowza.
  • The Chains of Commanding: If it sucks to be the Slayer than it also sucks to be the Head Slayer.
  • The Cheerleader: Pre-series; the last time she so much as mentions it is in the third episode because she doesn't have time for it. Also, Giles couldn't stand the idea.
  • Child Soldier: Not as overt thanks to Dawson Casting, but when you forcibly recruit a fifteen year-old girl to fight monsters...
  • The Chosen One: "Into each generation, there is a chosen one....She is the slayer."
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Frequently jumping to conclusions about Angel being involved with Drusilla or Cordelia or Faith. Her jealous nature was tempered in later relationships, partly because she wore the pants by that time.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Using improvised weapons, kicking Angelus in the groin... the list goes on.
  • Comfort Food: "When this is over I'm thinking pineapple pizza and teen video movie fest. Possibly something from the Ringwald oeuvre." There's also the Buffy sized tub of chicken she brings back from her intense visit to Angel when she was brought Back from the Dead.
  • Cool Loser: It should be noted that the resident Alpha Bitch does scout her out to be one of the "cool girls" when she first arrives in Sunnydale, but her vampire-fighting ways quickly get her pegged as a violent juvenile delinquent. Which, technically, she is.
  • Covert Pervert: When hit with a love spell she tries stripping for Xander, and when normal she gets worse (better?) as the series progresses.
  • Cute Bruiser: Xander thinks so. He has a thing for slayers.
  • Dark Age of Supernames: Buffy Summers fits more with a trope below. What she's known as, the Slayer, definitely counts.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: She admits to thinking of her boyfriend before moving to Sunnydale, listening to the song "I Touch Myself." Before claiming not to know what the song meant.
  • Dating Catwoman: Managed to woo quite a few Big Leaguers in the vampire world, including Count Dracula himself. The notorious vampires Angel and Spike both fell hard for her, and show no signs of moving on anytime soon. She even attracted the attention of The Immortal, an Italian Lothario who had racked up quite a hit count in his own right; in this case, however, The Immortal was duped into dating an impostor.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Often slinging some witty line at Giles for too serious (or too british) or the Monster of the Week or something else.
  • Defector from Decadence: She never really cares about what the Watchers' Council has to say about how she does things. During season 3, she gets particularly disgusted when their Cruciamentum test results in the Ax-Crazy vampire they captured to test her breaking loose and kidnapping her mom, and when they refuse to help her save Angel after he is poisoned simply for being a vampire, that was the straw that broke the camel's back: she cuts all ties with them for over a year.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Once. The second time there was a price to pay; Buffy suffers major depression that lasts the entire season.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Buffy is usually the one to do this, taking out the invincible Judge, Mayor, Glory and Caleb.
  • Didn't Think This Through: When she had Willow activate all Slayers worldwide, it didn't occurred to Buffy that not all of the newly empowered Slayers would be willing to use their powers for good, with one Slayer in particular, Simone Doffler, becoming a terrorist and obsessed with killing her, and another, a mental patient named Dana, breaking out of a mental hospital and causing all manner of trouble for the Angel Investigations team in L.A.
  • Disappeared Dad: Divorced, and later vanishes overseas when Buffy really could use his help after her mother dies.
  • Disney Death: Clinical death and the outright resurrection.
  • Does Not Know Her Own Strength: At times. For example, during the season one episode "Witch", she accidentally throws one of her classmates across the gym during cheerleading practice, and in Season Five's "Into the Woods", accidentally crushes the doctor who operated on her mother while hugging him in relief.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Partly because Guns Are Worthless against most supernatural beings, and partly because of Tara's death.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: A variation. After revealing her mutually-abusive sexual relationship with Spike to Tara, Buffy tearfully begs Tara to not forgive her; not out of anger, but because she's so disgusted with herself that she doesn't think she deserves pity.
  • The Dreaded: The aforementioned Badass Boast is not inaccurate at all.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Really nasty. After Chloe kills herself Buffy calls her a weak idiot and lashes out at everyone.
  • Drives Like Crazy: "Summers, you drive like a spaz!"
  • Easily Forgiven: By her family and friends, despite engaging in behavior ranging from jerkass ("When She Was Bad") to blatantly irresponsible ("Revelations") to insanely murderous ("Normal Again"). This is partly because the Scooby Gang genuinely admire Buffy's heroism, but also because their lives depend on her, plus when a Slayer goes off the rails there's not much they can do about it. Besides, most of them have gone homicidally evil at some point, so it's kinda hard to judge.
  • Expy: Buffy, as a character, is largely based on Kitty Pryde, a character in X-Men. It's been theorized she was inspired by Regina and Samantha Belmont of Night of the Comet: blonde, Californian morons who find themselves battling the undead.
  • Fallen Princess: From Alpha Bitch and Prom Queen at her last school, to a violent and flaky suspected-arsonist who hangs out with losers and is somehow involved with all the weird stuff in Sunnydale that no-one likes to talk about.
  • Flying Brick: After getting a power-up in Season 8.
  • Gallows Humor: Buffy has always had a morbid sense of humor; in Season Six after she's brought back from the dead it tends to get a Dude, Not Funny! reaction from the Scoobies.
  • Genre Savvy: As appropriate for The Protagonist of the show that gave birth to this very wiki, she can easily spot tropes.
  • Girly Bruiser: Cheerleading, dancing, and boychasing whenever she's not busy slaying vampires. In the season one finale, she killed The Master while wearing a prom dress. Her overt girliness does wane considerably after the first season however, and even during the first season some aspects (like the cheerleading) drop away very quickly.
  • Good Is Not Soft: She fights vampires and demons, but those who are human and evil she treats with particular disdain.
  • Healing Factor: Buffy will generally recover from her injuries in a matter of hours, or at most a day or two.
  • Heaven Seeker: In Season 6 because she was there before Willow revived her and the pull back was traumatic.
  • The Heroine: She is the Slayer and so it is her job to kill bad guys For Great Justice.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: A tragic irony is that Joyce and Principal Flutie assume Buffy is a juvenile delinquent, when she's actually trying to do the right thing. Then in Season 8 she literally has bad publicity, while the vampires are Villains With Good Publicity.
  • Heroic Second Wind: During her fights with the Master, Angelus, Glory, and the First.
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: Buffy often patrols wearing bright colors to lure out vamps.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Her attitude towards causing the end of magic during season 9, hence why she repeatedly dismisses Willow's concerns. She only accepts the true magnitude of it when she discovers that Dawn is dying without magic.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: She grows more accepting of her Slayer duties as time grows on, but the desire to be normal never completely goes away.
  • Improbable Weapon User: She certainly qualifies, since she frequently uses improvised weapons to kill vampires, especially in the early seasons. Most of these are improvised stakes, ranging in size from a pencil to a mop handle (and, in "Homecoming", she stakes a vampire with a spatula). She also decapitates a vampire with a cymbal in "The Harvest".
  • Incompatible Orientation: With Satsu. Even though Buffy is flattered, and sleeps with her (twice!), she is quite adamant that she is not a lesbian and they can't be together.
  • Informed Flaw: A complicated example. Buffy is supposed to be a inversion of the girly blonde cheerleader who gets killed by the monster in a horror film. It's implied that the Buffy movie takes place before the series and there she started out as the girly bimbo cheerleader, but that becoming The Chosen One put an end to that. The show doesn't start until after she has Taken A Level In Badass.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: As early as the first episode she knows how much it sucks to be the Slayer: kicked out of school, losing friends, going out behind her mother's back, etc.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The time she used a cross and a vampire's burning throat and actually doing what the Trope Namer only threatened.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Her beatdown of Glory in the fifth season finale counts as this. The way Glory is breaking down near the end and tearfully begging for mercy almost compels you to feel sorry for her... until you remember that Glory had Mind Raped Tara, threatened Buffy's family while confronting Buffy in her own home, and all in all put Buffy through a hell of a lot of pain and overall bullshit for the past year. Buffy certainly doesn't bother with pity and calmly beats Glory to a bloody pulp.
  • Ma'am Shock: For a different reason than normal: when Satsu calls her ma'am, Buffy remarks that she can't believe she thinks that it is hot.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life:
    "Dates are things normal girls have. Girls who have time to think about nail polish and facials. You know what I think about? Ambush tactics. Beheading. Not exactly the stuff dreams are made of."
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Tells Satsu that she can't be with her, but sleeps with her; twice. Poor Satsu was more than a little confused.
    • And with Spike in Season 6, swinging between attraction and outright rejection, leading to some serious consequences in "Seeing Red".
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Both her main love interests are vampires. It can be argued that all her romances will end up as this, as Slayers don't exactly have long lifespans.
  • Memetic Sex God (In Universe): According to Spike she can go for five hours straight. There's also the handcuffs and the bite marks and other things he's utterly blown away by.
  • Mommy Issues: With Joyce because she had to keep the slayer thing secret. Then her mother becomes more supportive of her.
  • Mugging the Monster: About Once an Episode. She's the monster.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: When it comes to demons, Buffy, as per her job description, will inevitably slay or attempt to slay them if they do something evil.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: She's not buff by any stretch of the imagination. She doesn't need to be — she's the Slayer, she can throw down with anything short of an invincible Big Bad or demon-human-cyborg hybrid, or Physical God.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Has this twice, once in Season 6, when she learns that she didn't come back wrong and has been doing all sorts of horrible stuff of her own free will, and again in Season 8 when Giles is killed, magic is destroyed, and the Slayer line is ended, as a result of her space frak with Angel.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Slayer.
  • The Neidermeyer: Sure, Asskicking Equals Authority and all, but some of her command decisions, especially in Seasons Six and Seven, are just awful and lead to a lot of people getting hurt needlessly. The Scoobies were right to question her judgment, and her defense of these bad decisions ("I'm the Slayer, do it my way because I say so") was less than convincing.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Creating the Twilight dimension by screwing Angel, which let thousands of demons invade Earth, which resulted in the destruction of the Seed of Wonder and removed all magic from the world.
  • Not Herself: Once a season, beginning with her stressing over The Master, then getting over the traumatic events that ended with her killing Angel. A demon tries to steal her soul, she has to deal with her Retconned sister, she sacrifices herself to save her sister only for her friends to bring her back to life (and pull her from heaven to hell on earth) and crack under the pressure of trying to command.
  • Oblivious to Love: Seeing her on her first day at Sunnydale High caused Xander to fall head over heels, literally, as he crashes into a railing. Buffy, however, is completely clueless as to his feelings until he asks her to the dance in the season finale. Then in Season Eight, when Buffy's loneliness and need for stability compels her to go to Xander. Xander declines, having long since decided he and Buffy are Better as Friends.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Buffy. Sword. Gut. Grand Finale.
  • Only Mostly Dead: In "Prophecy Girl," after the Master drowned her.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: If she ever willingly kills or attempts to kill another human being, you know things are getting bad.
  • The Other Darrin: To anyone who's seen the movie.
  • Person as Verb: The inimitable Buffyspeak.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Who knew a highschool girl could pack such a punch?
  • Platonic Life Partners: With Xander eventually. To get there he had to get over his crush on her and she had to stop thinking of him as a simple 'friend'.
  • Promotion to Parent: After Joyce's death Buffy is forced to take over the parenting of Dawn.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Her attempts to rediscover her passion in a Destructive Romance with Spike during season 6 only make things worse. When Buffy (incorrectly) thinks she has murdered an innocent woman, she savagely beats an unresisting Spike, describing him in terms that clearly mirror her own fears over what she has become.
    "You don't have a soul! There is nothing good or clean in you. You are dead inside! You can't feel anything real!"
  • Refusal of the Call: She comes to Sunnydale to get away from her delinquent reputation and Slayer responsibilities, and is not happy to find a Watcher already in place waiting for her.
  • Relative Button: Do not threaten Dawn.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Very much so, especially during the high school seasons. Giles has to do everything short of grabbing her by the hair.
  • Resurrection Sickness: Upon her resurrection in season 6, Buffy is initially disoriented and out of it for a while, and is depressed and self-destructive until the sixth season finale.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Provoked by Faith stealing Buffy's body, and her boyfriend too. Once back in her own skin, Buffy becomes a bloodhound, chasing Faith all the way to Los Angeles with an intent to kill, only to form an Enemy Mine with Faith to fight off the Watchers' Council black ops and be satisfied by Faith's voluntary incarceration.
  • Rousing Speech: Pointed out in Season 7 that she's too good at this. She once gave a Rousing Speech to a telephone repairman. Averted in "The Gift", much to the bemusement of fellow Brits Giles and Spike, who were expecting something more Shakespearean.
  • Sex Goddess: At least twice in Season 4, it's suggested that Buffy's superhuman physical abilities translate to bedroom prowess; both her one-night stand Parker and Faith, who steals her body in a Grand Theft Me plot, comment explicitly on the matter. In Season 6 Spike mentions having sex for five hours straight and raves about what an animal she is; he specifically mentions biting — coming from a vampire, that's an impressive recommendation!
  • She's Got Legs: They get a good showing in "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered".
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend/He Is Not My Boyfriend: Says this word for word to Willow about Satsu and a Running Gag with Spike before, during and after their relationship.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Coming back from the dead is no picnic, as Buffy is to discover twice.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Early seasons were split between Buffy's slayer duties and her studies/dating life.
  • Weakness Turns Her On: She quite enjoys nursing Angel back to health, and says that Riley looked "even cuter when all weak and kitteny". In the Season 8 Comics we discover one of Buffy's sexual fantasies involves Angel and Spike chained to her, with Buffy dressed in a Naughty Nurse Outfit.
  • Weapon of Choice: The simple wooden stake, even against non-vampires. What else would a slayer prefer? She even has a crossbow for them.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Avoids killing humans, but will readily take out evil demons. Case in point: when Willow turns evil and kills Warren in season 6, Buffy tries her very best to help her and worries for her sake more than for the people she's trying to kill. When Anya grants a wish that kills several frat boys in season 7, Buffy immediately decides that Murder Is the Best Solution and Anya can't be reasoned with like Willow because Willow is human and Anya isn't. It's part of the job description.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: EVERYONE freaks out on her (Xander, Willow, and Joyce in particular) when she comes back from running away at the end of Season 2, to the point where she wants to run away again. Willow and a group of zombies crashing her house keeps her from doing so, much to everyone's relief. They have the same reaction in Season 3 on discovering that Angel (last seen as Angelus) has returned and Buffy has been keeping it secret. Also, in season 7, Buffy is kicked out of her house.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Many characters (heroic and villainous) wonder what kind of parents name their kid "Buffy"note . Some assume it's a nickname.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Buffy uses a Frankensteiner at least once.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: The ability to snark during combat is highly valued in a Slayer.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Spike certainly thought so, and was nearly killed in the process of earning his soul back. Conversely, Angel turned down a chance to become human again rather than risk her dying on his watch.

    Willow Rosenberg 

Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan)

Click here  to see Dark Willow
"You're the Slayer and we're, like, the Slayerettes!"

Wallflower and Buffy's best friend. Started out as the book-smart girl, but gradually became an extremely powerful witch, giving her newfound confidence — and hubris. She came out in Season 4, and is one of the most recognized lesbian characters in fiction.
  • Badass Bookworm: Studying magic leads to beating up monsters that give the Slayer trouble.
  • Berserk Button: Do not hurt Tara. If you do, you might survive...if you're a god. Otherwise, best to check if you still have an epidermis. She tends to remove them.
  • Best Woman: At Xander and Anya's wedding, Willow is Xander's best "man".
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Hints are given throughout the series of a more darker side to Willow's Shrinking Violet nature — her liking for revenge, her childlike petulance, her anger at being an Extreme Doormat or mere Sidekick leading to a desire for power through magic (and a complete irresponsibility in its use) — all culminating in tragedy at the end of Season 6 with the arrival of Dark!Willow.
  • Big Blackout: Dark Willow fuses out lights wherever she goes.
  • Black Eyes of Crazy / Black Eyes of Evil: The dark arts cause Willow's irises to turn black. It also darkens her hair, causing to complain that she can't get any work done without getting dark roots.
  • Break the Cutie: After her girlfriend was mindfucked.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Behaves like this toward Xander in Season One just like how he does with Buffy.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Played with. She pines after Xander but when she and he do get together, she decides she doesn't want him. Then, when she was in a rut with Oz, she discovered that she prefers Tara.
  • Clipped Wing Angel: After Tara was mindsucked, Willow got amped up on magic, attacked Glory and succeeded in hurting her... for a few seconds. Then she got her ass beat.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Dark Magic addiction turned her evil and then filled with angst.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: See Beware the Nice Ones. Jonathan, having known her almost as long as Buffy and Xander, can hardly believe she's the same person by the end of season six.
  • Hot for Teacher: Its mentioned that Willow developed a crush on Giles during series one, even having a photo of him in her locker.
  • Misplaced Retribution: In season 6. After exacting her revenge on Warren, Willow promptly decided to try to kill his accomplices Jonathan and Andrew, who were in prison at the time and had absolutely nothing to do with it. While the Scoobies (sans Buffy) were so disgusted and furious with Warren that they rallied behind Willow en masse with her intent to kill, they all agree that Jonathan and Andrew don't deserve Willow's wrath.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: Regular Willow and Vampire Willow, when impersonating each other in "Doppelgangerland".
  • Motive Rant: In the "Family Reunion" arc of Angel & Faith, when Angel calls her out on wanting to involve Connor in her plans to restore magic, Willow loses it, bitch-slaps him, and calls him out on his ways before breaking down about how Earth is becoming a Crapsack World without magic:
    "Don't you dare. Don't you dare try to say I'm like you! This is all your fault! Thinking you can fix things! Running blindly down any road that might lead to redemption! And you're doing it again! Never worrying about the consequences until it's too late! You've ruined everything, Angel!!" (beat) "Can't you see what we're missing? How empty the world is? There hasn't been a decent song, movie or book, since we lost the Seed! Suicide rates are spiking! All over the world people are losing hope! It's just starting! It only gets worse from here! The world's dying and nobody will admit it! I need to save it. There's nothing more important. Why doesn't anyone understand...?"
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: After going Dark Willow in the final few episodes of season 6, she is adamant that Warren needs to die for shooting Tara despite Buffy repeatedly insisting that they don't kill humans and there are other options. On top of it all, Xander and Dawn are so disgusted and furious with Warren that they declare him to be just as bad as any vampire or demon Buffy's slain and fully support Willow's intent to kill... at least until the minute she actually goes through with it.
  • Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: Ooh! Ooh! Study Party!
    Xander: You need a life in the worst way.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Willow's decision to resurrect Buffy in season 6 disrupted the magic protecting the Slayer line, which allowed the First Evil to embark on its infamous Slayer/Potential Slayer genocide in season 7.
  • No Bisexuals: Turns gay and stays that way, despite having dated guys in the earlier seasons.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Vamp Willow.
    Willow: It's a little binding. I guess vampires really don't have to breathe. Gosh look at those.
  • Oh My Gods!: For the love of Hecate!
  • The Other Marty: Willow's played by a different actress in the unaired pilot.
  • Parental Neglect: To the point of not noticing a new haircut for four months. The extent of their neglect verges on Fridge Logic when you consider that the episode establishing their neglectfulness came about a half-season after a bookcase had fallen on her and briefly landed her in a wheelchair. You'd think if anything would make them pay attention...
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Is so stricken by grief she decides to bring about the Apocalypse and end the world's pain.
  • Promotion to Parent: She's Dawn's favorite person; Dawn treats her and Tara like parents, and in the Season 8 comics, Dawn says "Will is like a Mom to me."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Along with the Motive Rant above, she gives out one to Faith in season 3, especially since Faith was more prepared for an "it's not too late to turn back" speech:
    Willow: Faith, wait. I wanna talk to you.
    Faith: Oh yeah? Give me the speech again, please. "Faith, we're still your friends. We can help you. It's not too late."
    Willow: It's way too late. You know, it didn't have to be this way. But you made your choice. I know you had a tough life. I know that some people think you had a lot of bad breaks. Well, boo hoo. Poor you. You know, you had a lot more in your life than some people. I mean, you had friends like Buffy. Now you have no one. You were a Slayer and now you're nothing. You're just a big, selfish, worthless waste.
  • Redheads Are Uncool: She is presented as a bookish nerd with considerable computer skills, dowdily dressed and easily intimidated by more popular girls in school. Willow becomes much more confident in college, finally finding a place that respects her intellect, and to show that, she has embraced the redness of her hair by having dyed it a brighter red.
  • The Reliable One: Buffy explicitly calls her this at one point. Which is part of why her behavior in season 6 was so shocking.
  • The Resenter: "Six years as a side man, now I get to be The Slayer."
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Two.
    • After Glory "brain-sucks" Tara in season 5, Willow is so pissed off that she attacks Glory in her own home, and manages to both cause Glory pain and weaken her somewhat before getting curb-stomped; if Buffy hadn't shown up when she did, Willow would've been toast.
    • On a much bigger scale in season 6; when Warren flips out and shoots Buffy and Tara (the latter accidentally), killing the latter, Willow, still recovering from her addiction to dark magic, suffers a relapse, personally hunts him down, and skins him alive, and all the Scoobies except Buffy herself back her up because they're so disgusted with Warren. However, Willow then proceeds to go after Jonathan and Andrew, who were in prison at the time and had nothing to do with it, which eventually spirals into a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum that Xander just barely manages to talk her down from.
  • Shrinking Violet: In the first few seasons because of a lack of self-confidence and inability to spit it out to Xander
  • Soapbox Sadie: Originally protested Thanksgiving because it was all about death. Also in the season 6 Halloween episode goes off on a tirade on a customer wearing a witch costume.
  • Stepford Smiler: By series' end, she could wipe out the human race with a snap of her finger, which she sometimes makes light of. Realizing the threat she poses to her loved ones, she hammers on the moeblob mask and wears it to the end — but she's clearly not the same person we knew.
  • Stock Superpowers: She starts displaying a ton in Season 8 with her magic.
  • Stupid Sexy Friend: Willow finally gets together with Xander. It's when they're both with other people.
  • Super Strength: After casting a spell on herself, she's able to take on Buffy and win.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: When Giles tricks her into absorbing magic from him that puts her in touch with all of humanity's pain, Willow, either because the world just sucks so much or because she's in no mood to think of the positives, decides to destroy the world to end all of said pain. Fortunately, Xander shows up Just in Time and talks her down from it.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: During early Season 7, especially the scene in "Selfless" where she reverts to her evil personality for a few seconds while fending off a spider demon.
  • Sweater Girl: Season 3 Willow.
    Vamp Willow (looking Willow over): Well, look at me. I'm all fuzzy.
  • Teen Are Short: Much like Buffy she's at least a head shorter than the actress playing her mother.
  • Tempting Fate: A Running Gag with her.
    • "Dead Man's Party": Talking about it isn't helping. We might as well try some violence. (zombies crash into the house) I was just kidding!
    • "Beer Bad": Men haven't changed since the beginning of time. (cavemen burst in)
    • "Triangle": I wish Buffy were here. (Buffy enters)
    • "Two to Go": There's no one on in the world who has the power to stop me now. (Giles blasts her with a fireball)
  • That Man Is Dead: Dark Willow talks about Willow as if she were a different person.
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: Especially due to magic being used as a Fantastic Drug metaphor.
  • Took a Level in Badass: From being the show's main Distressed Damsel to the most powerful character of the group.
  • Took a Level in Badass: For almost two seasons, other characters had discussed how powerful Willow was becoming as a witch. Then she goes and becomes the first character in the series to cause Glory pain.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mocha coffee.
  • Tragic Womance: Her refusal to lose Buffy pushes her to take more risks with magic than ever before. The resurrection leaves her so high off success that she responds to Giles' concern with threats, setting most of her season six arc into motion.
  • Training The Gift Of Magic: After Season 6 and for the first few episodes of Season 7 she undergoes a 'recovery course' with the Devon Coven in England at Giles' behest. Though a slightly odd version of this trope, given that Willow was already a powerful and capable magician, it's strongly implied that by embracing the Coven's philosophy on magic (a more Zen-ish, earth-based approach, in contrast to her previous reliance on raw power) she comes back a much better, or at least much more mature, witch.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Willow goes into one when Glory sucks Tara's mind, and again when Warren shoots and kills Tara.
    • Tranquil Fury: In the case of hunting down The Trio. Although very enraged, she almost never raised her voice beyond a venomous half-whisper and aside from a few occasions was The Stoic for the whole ordeal. The most noticeable bit was her torturing and flaying alive a begging Warren without breaking her calm demeanour, even going so far as to say "Bored now" before killing him.
  • Vigilante Woman: Kills Warren (whom everyone figures deserves it) and tries to kill Andrew and Jonathan, even though they're only guilty by association.
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: Willow wears one naturally. It becomes this once she morphs into Dark Willow.
  • Wicked Witch: As Dark Willow, because of the magic addiction and power madness. Anya calls her the most powerful Wicca in the Western Hemisphere, which of course would make her the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • What Could Have Been: Word of Joss says the door was left open for either Xander or Willow to come out of the closet. Willow's backdoor was set up in "Doppelgangland" (see Wishverse Willow), and let's not forget Xander and Larry ("Your secret's safe with me!"). Seth Green left the show to pursue other projects, and this sealed Willow's fate.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • In Season 6, Dawn slaps her after almost killing her in a car crash and Tara leaves her after she screwed with Tara's head and broke her promise to avoid magic for a week when she couldn't last a day.
    • During Angel and Faith's "Family Reunion" arc, Willow and Angel give one to each other. She wants him to use his son to bring magic back. He's not willing to take such a risk:
    Angel: "You want me to find the son I've never been there for and ruin the life he's built. Ask him to go back to the hell he grew up in because of me. For some wild goose chase. Something that's not even possible. Here I was ashamed to see you."
    • In general she's incredibly reckless with magic, until the events of Season 6. First Tara calls her on it, then her nearly destroying the world forces her to treat magic with a lot more caution.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Frogs?: Suffers from Ranidaphobia.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: In season 6, after Tara's death and her murder of Warren, Willow decides to destroy the world to end her own pain and everyone else's. She's thankfully stopped from that.
  • You Are in Command Now: Took charge of the Scoobies when Buffy was absent or incapacitated; most notably between Seasons 2-3 and 5-6.

    Xander Harris 

Alexander LaVelle "Xander" Harris (Nicholas Brendon)

Click here  to see Xander in Season Eight
"I don't like vampires. I'm gonna take a stand and say they're not good."

Buffy's other best friend. Unlike Willow, Xander never gained any powers (apart from some military training). He had a crush on Buffy early on.
  • Abusive Parents: Not explicitly abusive per se, but they're definitely not loving parents. His father is also, at least verbally and emotionally, abusive of his mother, and on one occasion tried to sell him to some Armenians. It's also noted that every Christmas, Xander sleeps outside so as not to deal with his drunken family.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Several, perhaps most notably "The Zeppo."
  • Ambiguously Gay: Originally it wasn't certain whether Xander or Willow would come out as gay, so a few jokes on the subject were placed in the early seasons, continuing as a gag in later seasons after Willow became the gay character.
  • Author Avatar: According to Nicholas Brendon, his character is based on Joss Whedon in high school, which is why Xander "gets all the good lines." They also dress alike. It would explain Xander's avowed fetish for spandex and his taste in comics.
  • Badass Normal: This carpenter can dry-wall you into the next century!
  • Basement-Dweller: Downplayed in that he pays rent and works a variety of jobs to support himself. It is very clear that he loathes every minute of having to live with his parents.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Grows one shortly after Renee's death in Season 8.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Cordelia before they started dating, and possibly Spike.
  • Body Motifs: Xander is the one who sees everything, so Caleb pokes out one of his eyes. In "Restless" Xander is The Heart of the group, so the First Slayer rips out his heart.
  • Butt Monkey: Trope Namer.
    Xander: Dammit! You know what? I'm sick of this crap. I'm sick of being the guy who eats insects and gets the funny syphilis. As of this moment, it's over. I'm finished being everybody's butt-monkey!
    [Giles, Riley, and Buffy nod and try to look solemn]
    Buffy: Check. No more butt-monkey.
  • Cartwright Curse: Of his four major love interests, three are dead: Cordelia, Anya, and Renee, and all his other possible love interests turned out to be demons trying to kill him. Hopefully Dawn will have better luck.
  • Class Clown: His personality in the early seasons. In "The Prom," he complains about not winning the Class Clown award.
  • Combat Pragmatist: In a world where most people think they need to use swords, stakes, axes, and other similar melee/medieval weapons, Xander came up with the idea to use a rocket launcher to kill the Judge, and later bashed Glory with a wrecking ball.
  • Cowardly Lion: His fear is a Running Gag, yet he shows incredible courage for someone with no superpowers whatsoever.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Even among an entire cast of snarkers, Xander reigns supreme.
  • Dub Name Change: The French dub changes his nickname to a more widespread "Alex".
  • Easy Amnesia: Exploited. After Xander is possessed by hyenas, he tells Buffy and Willow he has no memory of it, but when Giles confronts him, he confesses that he was lying so he wouldn't have to talk about it. In Season 2 he inadvertently reveals he was lying.
  • Even Nerds Have Standards: His interactions with Andrew Wells.
  • Eyepatch of Power: After he loses his eye in Season 7.
  • Eye Scream: See above. At least he gets to be Nick Fury now, right?
  • The Face: He lacks the supernatural powers of his teammates, but is best friends with Buffy and Willow to the end. His storylines tends to revolve around interpersonal relationships, and, as the most consistent of the Scooby Gang, he interacts with everyone.
  • Fatal Attractor: All of his dates are demons. All of them. He and Willow have devised a secret phone code for "My date's a demon who's trying to kill me."
  • The Heart: His position in the Scooby Gang as 'The Heart' was a key component of a spell - the others were 'The Mind', 'The Spirit', and 'The Hands'. It's made clear more than once that Xander's strength doesn't lie in battle or conjuring spells, but in his interpersonal skills which hold the group together and keep them sane despite all the insanity swirling around them. He brought Willow back from the brink by telling her he loved her.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager:
    Cordelia: Does looking at guns make you wanna have sex?
    Xander: I'm 17. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex.
    Xander: "What am I going to do? I think about sex all the time. Sex. Help. Four times five is thirty. Five times six is thirty-two... Naked girls. Naked women. Naked Buffy. Oh, stop me!"
    Buffy: "God, Xander! Is that all you think about?!"
  • Hopeless Suitor: In the first season he tries and fails to get Buffy's attention in a romantic manner.
  • Hypocrite: In season 3 he chews out Buffy for withholding information about Angel's return from Hell, while in the previous season he deliberately neglected to inform Buffy that Willow was still trying to curse Angel again.
  • Ironic Echo: In "The Gift," Spike mockingly refers to him as a glorified bricklayer. He uses this in a Bond One-Liner after nailing Glory with a wrecking ball:
    Xander:' And the glorified bricklayer picks up a spare.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: He eventually reconciles himself to Buffy seeing him as a friend. In Season Eight, Buffy briefly comes onto him. However, Xander recognizes that she's looking for a warm body, not love, and reaffirms that they are friends only.
  • In with the In Crowd: Due to possession by hyena spirits in "The Pack."
  • I Just Want to Be Special: It relates more to his lack of powers or supernatural abilities as anyone who has helped save the world multiple times can hardly claim that they have lived an unexceptional or unexciting life.
  • The Leader: Come Season 8, he's the de facto leader of the international Slayers' organization because of his uncanny ability to bring out the best in his girls. See The Heart below.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: After telling Buffy he was once roped into working as a male stripper.
  • Likes Older Women: Harbors an unspoken desire for Joyce Summers. He's a conquistador! And for some Sunnydale High teachers as well. And Anya, who is 1120 years old.
  • Literal Metaphor: In "Dead Man's Party," while Joyce and the Scoobies are taking turns giving Buffy a What the Hell, Hero? speech, Xander tells Buffy that "You can't just bury stuff; it'll come right back up to get you." Unbeknownst to the gang, Sunnydale is undergoing a Zombie Apocalypse at that very moment.
  • The Load: What most new characters think he is. They're wrong...
  • Making Use of the Twin: Nicholas Brendon's twin brother, Kelly Donovan, appears as a clone Xander in "The Replacement," and as his double for most of the episode "Intervention" while Brendon was sick.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Explicitly averted –- one episode revolves around his virginity. Another showed him losing it, and it was the least of what happened that night. See "The Zeppo."
  • Mission Control: Often served in this capacity for the Slayer Organization.
  • Non-Action Guy: He doesn't always accept the fact that he's not supposed to confront evil things and his friends wish he were.
  • Number Two: To Buffy in the Slayer Organization.
  • Neural Implanting: After being turned into a soldier during the first Halloween episode, he still retains military knowledge, which helps out the Scoobies on more than one occasion.
  • Odd Friendship/Pals with Jesus: With Dracula in the comics. Xander taught him how to motorbike.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Giving him a sense of kinship with Dawn, who likewise feels overshadowed by her big sister.
  • Sex God: According to Anya, he is "a real Viking in the sack!" and she would know, because she was a real Viking once upon a time.
    Anya: "I love Xander because of his thoughtfulness, and compassion, and his kindness. Plus he can hold his breath for nearly twenty minutes, which is a bonus during some sexual acts, I can tell you."
  • Shipper on Deck: For Buffy and Riley.
  • Shipping Torpedo: To wit: he loathed Buffy with Angel because he's in love with Buffy; was a Torpedo to Spike/Buffy because he dislikes Spike and thinks he's bad for Buffy, and anti-shipped Wesley/Cordelia for all of the above reasons.
  • Slut Shaming: Xander's favourite form of comeback against Cordelia after they break up.
    Cordelia: You dragged me out of bed for a ride? What am I, mass transportation?
    Xander: That's what a lot of the guys say, but it's just locker room talk. I wouldn't pay it any mind.
  • Stupid Sexy Friend: Xander only awakens to his attraction to Willow when they're both going steady. With other people.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: How he beat Dark!Willow in Season 6.
    "I saved the world with talking from my mouth. My mouth saved the world!"
  • Team Dad: To the new Slayers in Season 8. Any Slayer who ever seems depressed or on the verge of a Heroic BSOD is always quickly cheered up by Xander.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Buffy's vampire Love Interests because he is one himself and overshadowed by them.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: As foreman on the Sunnydale High 2.0 construction project, he has intimate knowledge of its blueprints. He's also handy at building barricades at Chez Summers. Once got in a fantastic shot on Glory using a wrecking ball.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: In Season 4, he goes from being a bartender, a phone sex operator, and a pizza delivery boy before finally settling on construction worker.
  • Weirdness Magnet: While everyone shows some of this, Xander has it more than most. He probably comes closest to fulfilling this trope when he is recruited by Zombie Bank Robbers as a wheelman. Plus nearly every single woman interested in him turns out to be a demon.

    Rupert Giles 

Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head)

"You're not, by any chance, betraying your secret identity just to impress, um, cute boys, are you?"

Buffy's Watcher. Very British. Originally just Mr. Exposition, turned out to have quite a past. Also played Team Dad to the Scoobies.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: While he's describing how the phases of the moon exert a degree of psychological influence over people and the full moon brings out their darkest qualities, Xander quips that it led to the creation of the moon pie. Buffy and Willow are unimpressed, but Giles almost cracks up right then and there.
  • Admiring the Abomination: He does this occasionally. "Werewolves, it's... it's one of the classics!"
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The Council shunned him even before they fired him, and wouldn't let him come to the Watcher Retreat in the Cotswolds. This is Justified: before Giles was as we currently see him, he was part of a group of magic-abusing rebellious youths, who did things like summoning demons and getting high on the possession as a fun, everyday activity.
  • Batman Gambit: Season 6. The magic Willow stole from him tapped into what humanity was left in her. As a result Willow senses the pain of all human beings. And her reaction is to try to wipe out all life on earth. However, this also gives Xander the opportunity to get through to her and talk her down.
  • Berserk Button: When people threaten to harm/truly harm his friends, particularly his surrogate daughter Buffy.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's not above using violence to solve a problem. So far, he's done the following:
    • Beaten the living shit out of Ethan Rayne for information on how to break his "turn people into their Halloween costumes" curse.
    • Embarked on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Angelus upon discovering that he killed Jenny Calendar, burning down his Abandoned Factory hideout and beating him senseless with a flaming baseball bat.
    • Physically and professionally threatened Principal Snyder into readmitting Buffy back into Sunnydale High.
    • Manhandled Spike while ordering him to get over his obsession with Buffy and move on.
    • Tortured one of Glory's minions for information.
    • Finally, smothered Ben to death with his bare hands to prevent his Superpowered Evil Side Glory from coming back.
  • British Stuffiness: When Giles is mad, but too English to say anything, he makes a weird "cluck-cluck" sound with his tongue. At least to others. Early in Season 3, Joyce acquires an artifact that summons zombies. When he finds out, Giles is pissing and moaning in his car:
    • The best part is that he becomes so engrossed in kvetching about Eaglelanders that he wraps his car around one of the aforementioned raised dead.
  • The Cast Show Off: He was the first to show off his awesome singing voice.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: It has trouble staying buried, too. 'Ripper' Giles used to be evil in his younger days; a vicious delinquent practicing dark magic.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Not so much embarrassing as evil, but it's embarrassing because it's evil. It's like a DIY Dark Mark except it binds him, Ethan Rayne and other former "friends" from his youth to the demon they used to get high on.
  • Fake Guest Star: Throughout Season Seven. But we'll act conciliatory and call him a Super-Duper Extra Special Guest Star.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Most of his friends from his rebellious twentysomethings still call him "Ripper."
  • Glasses Pull: A Character Tic, and often lampshaded.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Most extreme example? Smothering a wounded Ben to death rather than risk Glory coming back. Before doing the deed, Giles cryptically remarks, "[Buffy's] a hero, you see. She's not like us." He wanted to spare Buffy from doing it.
  • The Handler: In theory anyway; he realises early on that Buffy doesn't respond well to orders.
  • Hard Head/Tap on the Head: Giles tends to get knocked out, but never suffers any brain damage. On one occasion, he quipped that he believed that he had developed a resistance to head trauma.
    "I know I'm back in America now; I've been knocked unconscious."
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Giles got between a Twilight possessed Angel and Buffy as they fought near the Seed of Wonder, wielding the Scythe to try and destroy the Seed himself and end Twilight's invasion of Earth, or get killed by Twilight and give Buffy the motivation she needed to take the Scythe and end things herself.
  • Helping Would Be Kill Stealing: Giles in the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He chose to abandon Buffy because he felt that she was limiting herself by clinging to him in a immature way. In principle he had good reasons, but he chose to make his stand right in the middle of a crisis, and forbade everyone else from helping Buffy. That can only vaguely be justified by him following musical logic at the time. When he comes back to help against Dark Willow, he apologizes for leaving her, especially after hearing about everything that had gone wrong with the gang since he skipped town, but Buffy assured him that he was right.
  • Hopeless With Tech: He admits to being scared of technology, and when he finds out that the library of Sunnydale High 2.0 consists of nothing but computers, he's absolutely horrified.
  • I Am Very British: In the second episode, he asks Willow to "wrest more information from that dread machine... That was a bit...British."
  • I Did What I Had to Do: His reaction to smothering Ben to stop Glory for good.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: "It's all right... I have more scotch."
  • In-Series Nickname: Ripper.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: A kidnapped minion of Glory defiantly refuses to talk. Giles asks Willow and Tara to get twine, the camera follows them, and a snapping sound is heard. The minion sings like a canary, with Giles answering Willow's question about what happened with a very casual, "He changed his mind." Exactly what he did is unclear.
  • Last Name Basis: The only people who call him "Rupert" are his romantic interests and Spike.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: While in London during Season 6, Giles did a spell to bind a demon, but it required him to lose the memory of one of the happiest days in his life. That day was the day he fell in love with Jenny Calendar, leaving him with a heartache that he felt would never go away, even though he had no idea what the memory was about.
  • Limited Wardrobe: A Watcher scoffs at fashion! One tweed suit is all you need.
    Jenny: Do you own anything else?
    Giles: Uh well, not as such, no.
    • It gets to the extent that the Scoobies joke that he wore tweed diapers as a baby. However, in the post-high school seasons, he dresses casually far more often.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: For Buffy in the first half of Season 6. Giles eventually leaves to force her to become independent.
  • Mangst: When he is truly heartbroken, this is the result.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: In the comics but not the series because he doesn't die in the series.
  • Midlife Crisis Car: It seduced him, all red and sporty.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: When transformed into a Fyarl demon in "A New Man," Giles experiences the demon's natural violent urges. Also, in Season 10, his 12-year-old body leads to him being more impulsive and less able to concentrate, not to mention becoming more fixated on the other sex's physical charms, much to his embarrassment.
  • Mr. Exposition: Gets parodied in "Restless" when he sings his latest exposition.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: "Ripper."
  • Necessarily Evil: Best exemplified in the following quote:
    "Because I've sworn to protect this sorry world, and sometimes that means doing what other people can't. What they shouldn't have to."
  • Neck Snap: This is how Angel, as Twilight, ultimately kills him.
  • Nightmare Fetishist:
    Giles: But that's the thrill of living on the Hellmouth! There's a veritable cornucopia of fiends and devils and ghouls to engage! (beat) ...Well, excuse me for finding the glass half-full.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In the season 5 episode "Tough Love", Giles, Willow, and Anya capture one of Glory's minions and are about to interrogate him for information. Giles tells Willow and Anya to get some rope to tie him up, and the minute they turn around, we hear a Sickening Crunch and the minion painfully and frantically agrees to tell them everything. Giles' response to their questions?
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In the Season 5 finale. Buffy flat-out tells him to the face that they are not talking about killing Dawn to stop Glory, at which point Giles loses his temper and screams "YES, WE BLOODY WELL ARE!!" at the top of his voice. Cue shocked reactions and gaping mouths from all the other Scoobies.
  • Opening Narration/Previously On: Previouslys just aren't previouslys without Giles' smooth buttery tone.
  • Papa Wolf: Threatening Buffy isn't a wise move if you want to stay healthy.
  • Parental Substitute: Gradually becomes a surrogate father to Buffy and the gang as a whole (all of their biological fathers being sadly lacking in various ways), and partially to Faith in Season 8.
  • Poisonous Friend: Often does (and says, and thinks) what Buffy can't or won't.
  • Put on a Bus and Commuting on a Bus: In Series 6 and 7, due to the actor finding all the travel between the UK and USA to be too difficult. He requested a reduced role in the series, leading to these tropes.
  • The Smart Guy: Giles knows something about everything, except synchronized swimming.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: One of his main concerns from season four onwards; not that he resents Buffy for it, he just feels superfluous.
  • Teen Genius: After he's killed in season 8, Angel and Faith resurrect him, but due to other circumstances, he comes back with his adult memories intact, but in the body of a 12-year-old. His behavior is also influenced by being a hormonal teenager, much to his chagrin.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: With the lovely Romani granola girl techno-pagan Wicca hippie Ms. Calender.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Andrew has this reaction when he finds out that Giles knew that Buffy had gone to the future and killed an evil version of Willow, but didn't tell him or set up precautions in case Willow did turn evil again. Giles even acknowledges he is right, and they begin working on an emergency plan in case Willow does go evil again.
  • Workaholic: Particularly evident in season four. Due to his not having a job at the time, and Buffy not really requiring a watcher in the same way as she once did, he struggles to fill his time. Whenever any opportunity to help the gang or investigate evil comes about, he leaps on it.
  • Your Door Was Open: This happens to Giles a lot in the fourth season, even when he's sure he locked the door.

    Angel/Angelus 

Angel, né Liam (David Boreanaz)

"For a hundred years, I offered an ugly death to everyone I met, and I did it with a song in my heart."

A vampire, one of the worst recorded. Sired in Oireland circa 1753 by Darla and, adopting the name "Angelus," wreaked havoc across Europe for almost 150 years until he angered a Gypsy clan by killing one of their beloved daughters. The Gypsies cursed him by returning his soul, filling him with remorse for his crimes.

After a century of living in squalor and feeding off rats, Angel is recruited by the Powers That Be and sent to watch over Buffy Summers, the newly-called Slayer. He serves as a Scoobies' contact in the demon world and Buffy's first Love Interest, but loses his soul in Season 2, becoming a formidable Big Bad with a love of torture (both physical and psychological).

Even re-ensouled, the threat isn't over. Should Angel achieve even a moment of pure happiness, the gypsy curse is automatically lifted; their code of vengeance holds that it's better for him to become evil again than to do anything to ease his suffering. Realizing that he's a danger as long as he's around Buffy, he packs up and Sunnydale for Los Angeles, where he gets his own show. He continues to fight demons as a form of penance for his crimes.

He returned to Buffy in the Season 8 comics, and co-stars with Faith in the comic series called Angel and Faith.
  • Adorkable: In the comic books. The reading glasses.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Buffy and Cordelia, his two major love interests, are former cheerleaders.
  • And Your Little Dog Too:
    • He meant real dogs.
    Buffy: Skip it. I don't have a puppy, so skip it.
    • Giles' profile on Angelus suggests that he will lash out at everything that made him feel human. Buffy tops the list.
  • The Antichrist/Anti Anti Christ: The Shanshu Prophecy was not explicit on which side Angel would be fighting on during the end times. At the start of Angel, the idea of Angel willingly cooperating with the Senor Partners seems unthinkable. By the end of Season Four, Angel has darkned enough and his circumstances have gotten hazy to the point where he joins them. According to the comics, the jury's still out on whether the Shanshu prophecy spells doom for mankind in general. Wesley's father, Roger Wyndam-Pryce (or at least a close facsimile thereof) warned that Angel is "more dangerous than you realize."
  • Anti-Hero: Default state is Type II, but spends time as Type III on occasion. The presence of Darla can cause a change to Type IV, although that is very temporary.
  • The Anti-Nihilist:
    "If nothing we do matters... then all that matters is what we do."
  • Appropriated Appellation: Liam took his vampire name from his sister, who mistook her resurrected older brother for an angel.
  • The Atoner:
  • Back for the Finale: Delivering a "Hey, You!" Haymaker to Caleb in "End of Days." Unfortunately for Angel, he's back on the Buffy set now, which means Caleb lunges right back up and knocks him flat in "Chosen." Tradition, y'know.
  • Badass: While he has all of the strengths of a vampire, his true power lies in his intimate understanding of evil.
  • Badass Boast: Gives one to Lindsey in Season Five. As he had also regained his self-confidence as a hero and champion, it also counts as a He's Back moment:
    "All those tattoos, all those new tricks you've learned just don't matter. Doesn't matter what you try. Doesn't matter where I am or how badass you think you've become. 'Cause you know what? I'm Angel. I beat the bad guys."
  • Badass in Distress: Frequently. Kendra nearly incinerated him in the cellar of Willie's bar, and he later spent an entire season hiatus in this state. ("Deep Down").
    "So... how was your summer? Mine was fun. Saw some fish. Went mad with hunger. Hallucinated a whole bunch."
  • Bad Dreams: With such regularity, one wonders how he catches any winks without valium. Yet another downside to being undead: vampires share a Psychic Link with their kin. When a vampire he sired 100 years ago starts killing people locally, Angel feels it. In Angel Season Two, Angel starts having... erm, 'dreams' about his maker. It is later revealed that Darla is dosing him with occult herbs to drive him into a frenzy.
  • Batman Gambit: Near the end of After the Fall, Angel, realizing that the Senior Partners need him alive for their plans, provokes Gunn into killing him, forcing the Partners to hit the Reset Button so that the Fall of Los Angeles never happened and bringing back everyone who died since then in the process, which is exactly what Angel expected them to do.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Liam always wanted to get out of Galway and see the world so naturally, he jumped at Darla's offer to see it together. Then he was vampirized but still didn't regret it until the gypsies forced his soul back inside him.
  • Beast and Beauty: With Buffy and Cordelia, in that order, because he's a vampire and they are cute human girls.
  • Been There, Shaped History: He was in China during the Boxer Rebellion, and apparently knew Elvis and The Rat Pack personally.
  • Being Good Sucks: Atonement's a bitch.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Blue Oni: To Spike's red. Spike's embrace of punk music, as opposed to quieter, more emotive music (Angel is a closet Fanilow as well as an ex-RatPack groupie) is indicative of his distaste for brooding intellectual types like Angel.
  • Big Bad: For Season 2 of Buffy. Also took over the role for a short while in Angel's fourth season after killing The Beast, until he was re-ensouled again by Willow.
  • Big Fancy House: A creepy, art deco mansion on the edge of town. Angelus moves into the abandoned residence along with Drusilla and Spike. When he comes back from hell in Season 3, Angel stays there until the end of the season.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Part of Angelus's M.O. at one point was to carve the image of a crucifix into his victims' left cheek so as to spite God.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Is turned human by the Senior Partners in the After the Fall comics in order to hinder him. Using various charms and spells, he's still in the game and kicking ass.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Ah, Angel. Brooding, angsty vampire trying to fight the good fight, within LA and himself. Who'd ever think that he dug Mandy and Barry Manilow, or had a fear of dancing (yet a secret desire to, despite how awful he is at it) or go on about how much he loves Buffy when pretending to be drunk?
  • Celibate Hero: "I'm not a eunuch!"
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: With any woman he loves, or else he'll try to destroy the world again. Realistically, any sex would be a gamble because it would reveal his vampire nature. His love life is about as checkered as everyone else's in the series.
    Connor: Do you spend all your time making out with other vampires, like in Anne Rice novels?
    Angel: Uh, no. I used to, but...
    Connor: You have a girlfriend at least?
    Angel: Can't afford to.
    Connor: Must be lonely.
    Angel: (defensively) I keep busy!
    • He manages to share intimacy with a werewolf, Nina Ash, near the conclusion of Angel. The trick is, their relationship is premature — to say nothing of Angel's mounting gloom at having to send her away in the series finale.
  • The Champion: He appointed himself as Buffy's guardian shortly after she was called as a Slayer.
  • Chronically Crashed Car: The Plymouth got totaled in the pilot, and later wound up in Lorne's basement club (via a wormhole), making it somewhat resemble a Jackrabbit Slim's. (They never do explain how they removed the car.)
  • Closet Geek: Angel & Faith teaches us that Angel is a die-hard fan of Douglas Adams. It helped him through a difficult period in The Eighties...
  • Clueless Detective: A Running Gag is that he's better at fighting demons than he is at genuine detective work. On one occasion, he had to hire another detective agency with a Friend on the Force for help on a case.
  • The Comically Serious: The fact that he's periodically-evil while his companions are all Happy Meals with legs might have something to do with all the jokes at his expense, to keep him grounded.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Angelus' M.O because he's an evil prick.
  • Cool Car:
    • A black Plymouth convertible, mirroring Spike's muscle car. The only difference is, Angel's roof is detachable... in sunny LA. (He purchased it on the cheap.)
    "Why not a personalized license plate that says "IRONY"?"
    • A whole fleet of luxury cars (with necrotempered windows™) after he becomes Wolfram & Hart's CEO. Also, a helicopter.
  • Deus Angst Machina: Mr. Whedon, don't make him happy. You wouldn't like him when he's happy.
  • Determined Defeatist: Though there is the occasional reprieve, at heart, Angel suspects that he will never stop paying for his crimes. He and Spike share a grumpy exchange about how they're both going to Hell, and thus will never be rid of each other.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: In the Angel TV finale, his plan is to take out the Circle of the Black Thorn, the Senior Partners' main instruments of evil on Earth, and go out in a blaze of glory.
  • Do with Him as You Will:
    • In season 2's "Reunion," Holland Manners, having had Drusilla re-sire a resurrected Darla, gives them full backing for whatever massacre they intend to carry out and organizes a wine tasting at his house for Wolfram & Hart employees to celebrate his success, only for Drusilla and Darla to crash the party, intending to kill Holland and the W&H employees there as revenge for being used as pawns. Angel shows up, apparently planning to Save the Villain... but instead, Angel also wants them dead and locks them all in the wine cellar with Darla and Drusilla before leaving them to die.
    • In season 3's "Double or Nothing," Jenoff, a paranormal crime boss/casino owner, comes to collect Gunn's soul in accordance with a Deal with the Devil Gunn made years ago. In the climax, Angel chops off the head of said crime boss. It quickly becomes apparent that this will only temporarily incapacitate him, so Angel asks who else in the casino owes the man, and leaves as the mob descends on Jenoff.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone's scared of Angelus.
  • Dying as Yourself: His death in the Buffy season 2 finale. Willow has successfully re-ensouled Angelus... but unfortunately, Acathla has already begun to awaken, and Buffy has no choice but to kill Angel, not Angelus, to save the world.
  • Enemy Within: Angelus is the vampire-without-a-soul aspect of his personality.
  • Epiphany Therapy: Having exhausted his resolve fighting Wolfram and Hart, Angel attempts to shed his soul by having sex with Darla, but instead of a moment of perfect happiness, he found perfect despair. An epiphany follows, and Angel realized that his purpose was still to do all the good he could, even if he couldn't do all the good he wanted to.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Doyle confesses that "maybe [he's] a little attracted" to Angel, much to his embarassment.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: If you look at Angel's history, he has a taste for for petite blondes - Darla in the Victorian era, Buffy throughout the show's run, and Nina Ash in the show's last season. This is lampshaded when Fred testifies she saw Angel having sex on his desk with Lilah Morgan, a sworn enemy.
    Fred: Brunette. She was a cheap brunette.
    Cordy: (alarmed) You're right. This isn't like him.
  • Everything but the Girl:
    • The Immortal called dibs.
    Angel: But she's not finished baking yet! I gotta wait till she's done baking! You know, till she finds herself, 'cause that's the drill, fine, I'm waitin' patiently and meanwhile, THE IMMORTAL'S EATING COOKIE DOUGH!
    Andrew: Uhhh, Spike, is Angel crying?
    Spike: No! (in the same defiant tone) Not yet!
    • He was slow on the draw with Cordelia. She packed off and left with the Groolalugg, another superhuman warrior who isn't allergic to sunlight.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Angelus is completely unable to understand why Angel does what he does or the "human condition," firmly believing that humans only exist to suffer and die.
  • Evil Gloating: Angelus' Fatal Flaw is this; he's constantly prone to bragging and excessive talking, often letting his opponents use the opportunity to either escape or fight back. Lampshaded:
    Spike: You bloody well talk them to death before you kill them!
  • Evil Is Hammy: Angelus, particularly in his second appearance. Good lord, man, switch to decaf.
  • Evil Is Petty: Angelus' primary motivation in Buffy season 2 is just to cause Buffy and her friends as much grief as possible because he's disgusted that Buffy made him feel human ("That's not the kinda thing you just forgive.").
  • Expansion Pack Past: Two hundred years leaves gaps to fill in. Angelus grumbles that it was mostly puppy rescues and Manilow concerts.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Causes special problems during his tenure as Big Bad, considering his intimate knowledge of all the Scoobies, not to mention standing invitations to most of their homes.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Angelus can occasionally be shown with a seemingly friendly and understanding approach (much like as Angel). The fact that most of it isn't really genuine at all, not to mention that later on it could also be a reminiscence of how he is when he has a soul which he might be deceptively using to his advantage makes it all the more terrifying.
  • Foe Yay: With Spike. Joss himself has joked (sort of) that they're his One True Bromance. invoked
  • The Fog of Ages: By the time of "Not Fade Away", Angel has forgotten what it's like to be human.
  • For the Evulz: Everything Angelus does is just for the sheer cruelty of it all. In a way, he's the purest character in all of the Buffyverse - both the Master and the First Evil have acknowledged how purely evil and vicious he is/was. A perfect example: near the end of Season 2 of Buffy, he captures Giles for information on how to awaken the demon Acathla and destroy the world, and openly admits that he hopes that Giles won't tell him what he needs to know willingly because he doesn't want to be deprived of the opportunity to torture someone.
  • Forced to Watch: After putting himself through hell to redeem Darla's soul in season 2, Lindsey McDonald shows up with Drusilla and an army of thugs, tasers Angel, and makes him watch as Drusilla turns Darla into a vampire again. This pushes Angel into complete He Who Fights Monsters territory for the next few episodes.
  • Freudian Excuse: Wesley, of all people, chastises Angel for hiding behind his gyspy curse so he doesn't have to face having serious relationships with women. Angel acknowledges he is completely right.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Trope Codifier. Spike's the trope namer
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He was just a jobless, drunken, 18th-century Eurotrash lout before Darla sired him. It turns out that he had a huge capacity for depravity which surprises even his maker.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation/With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Season three's "Birthday" depicts an alternate reality in which Cordelia never joined Angel Investigations. Doyle passed his visions on to Angel prior to his Heroic Sacrifice, and Angel retreated into himself in his grief, with the visions only making things worse. Before long, Angel went completely insane from his own loneliness and his visions, to the extent that he would have visions of his victims. The worst of it all is that what Cordelia sees of that version of Angel, a babbling, incoherent mess who starts pounding his head on the wall while talking to her, is, according to that world's Wesley and Gunn, him on a good day.
  • Goal in Life: To protect Buffy as she assumes the Slayer mantle and, later, to fulfill the Shanshu Prophecy and become human. Angel sometimes deviates from this, for various reasons, among them a belief that his mission is being clouded by self-interest. By the fifth season, his faith wavers to the point of dismissing the Prophecy entirely. In the Series Finale, Angel is forced to literally sign away his chances in the human sweepstakes, nullifying the prophecy with a signature in blood. In the comic continuation, the Senior Partners finally give him a glimpse of the Shanshu Prophecy: Himself standing in an apocalyptic wasteland, grinning like a maniac. Now, Angel's goal is to keep improving the world in spite of the Prophecy; with luck, the future can be altered. (Unless the Partners were just dicking with him again.)
  • Gollum Made Me Do It: On Angel, Angelus is shown as a distinct personality, self-image, and memories of his own. This is a slight departure from Buffy, in which Angelus was just Angel with his Restraining Bolt removed.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He is a nice guy most of the time, but he can switch to ruthless at the drop of a hat and he has a hundred years of doing extremely horrible things to people for giggles to draw on. It is also not a good idea to go after people he cares about.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Smokes cigarettes as Angelus, as well as during his Knight Templar phase in Angel season 2.
  • Gypsy Curse: Gypsies are responsible for returning his soul so he would be overwhelmed by 200 years of guilt. It's also the reason he can never be perfectly happy because he would lose his soul.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Famous for his Leather Pants of Evil, which he never lived down.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: After the end of magic. Due in part to the various atrocities he committed as Twilight, he's even more loathed and feared by the magical community than Buffy, the one who caused the end of magic.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Lampshaded by Angelus, who offers to send Angel "to that big puppy pound in the sky" as revenge for all those puppies he's saved. Played for Laughs when Gunn assures him that he'll get along fine with The Conduit — as long as he likes cats. Whoops.
  • Heroic BSOD: Sometimes caused by remorse over his own actions, other times brought on by a century-long stay in Hell which leaves him a trembling mute. Lampshaded on Angel, when Spike joins the cast.
    "I spent a hundred years trying to come to terms with infinite remorse! You spent three weeks moaning in a basement, AND THEN YOU WERE FINE! What's fair about that?!"
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In every sense of the word. Buffy runs him through with a replica of his own blessed sword, which in turns sucks him through his own hell portal. Putting a damper on this irony is the knowledge that Angel suffers the fate reserved for Angelus, because he regained his soul moments beforehand and that brief vulnerability may well have been what allowed Buffy's victory.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: On his own show, which displays his more private foibles in a way the original show doesn't. Wang Chung will never recover.
  • Hopeless With Tech: Never really gets the hang of cell phones.
    "They talk about me in the chatty rooms?"
  • Hunk: By 2004, he was essentially Seeley Booth in Matrix-wear. (Because he is Seeley Booth!) His attractiveness is how he got his nickname: A monster with "the face of an angel".
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: The vampire community still can't believe their most revered hero is now gutting them in the shadows, for money.
  • I Am a Monster: Shouted in Romanian while being dragged off into an alley to be beaten. This was in 1898, shortly after Angel was cursed.
  • I Can't Dance: He proved quite adept at slow dancing in Sunnydale. But when invited to a party for hip twentysomethings, he imagines himself flailing about like a spaz.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Inverted with Darla; Angel definitely holds some animosity toward her, yet maintains an almost filial devotion. Inverted again with Connor, who is, ironically, human. (Mostly.) Spike has a cathartic moment when he confronts Angel for fashioning him into the monster he is; Drusilla was his sire but Angelus was his Yoda.
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: Angel in the '70s. There's a positive side to not being able to see your reflection sometimes.
  • Immortal Immaturity
    Angel: You know, I started it. The whole "having a soul". Before it was all the cool new thing.
    Buffy: Oh, my God. Are you twelve?
  • Immortal Life Is Cheap: Spike doesn't bother aiming around Angel to hit a target; Spike just stabs right through him. In all fairness, that was Spike...
    Angel: You just like stabbing me.
    Spike: I'm shocked that you'd say that! I much prefer hitting you with blunt instruments.
  • Immortality Hurts: Try spending it at the bottom of the Pacific. Gives you some perspective. Kind of an M. C. Escher perspective.
  • Instant Fan Club: Angelus' groupies, Karl and Paco.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Whether as Angel or Angelus, he's quite fond of this.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Angel (Good guy) Angelus (bad guy)
  • Kind Restraints: Voluntarily chained up or thrown behind bars whenever he feels the bad side coming on, similar to Oz. Although Cordelia seemed to enjoy it a little too much.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The previous villains certainly weren't harmless, but Buffy became much darker once Angelus was unleashed.
  • Knight Templar: Turns against his friends for a few months as he goes on a crusade of punishing the guilty (Wolfram & Hart), rather than helping the helpless.
    "Let them fight 'the good fight'. Someone's gotta fight the war."
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Even if the world sucks and the fight will never end in his favor, someone has to keep it going. He even states at least once that he doesn't really believe that he'll ever be redeemed for his crimes, but keeps trying anyway.
  • Large And In Charge: Angel's a pretty big guy and The Leader of Angel Investigations.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: In Season 1 the revelation that Angel is a vampire was suppose to be a twist back in the day. If you were to tell that to someone with even a tiny amount of knowledge about the series now they would probably laugh at you. This is also the case with his first Heel-Face Turn.
  • Leitmotif: A heroic sounding anthem, later phased out in the third season. Brought back intentionally for a moment in Season 5 when Angel is in desperate need to rediscover his original mission statement of helping the helpless.
  • Like a Badass out of Hell: Not only did he get paroled from Hell, he was willing to travel back into it and take out the Senior Partners.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Even after becoming incredibly wealthy and having access to a limitless wardrobe, he still wears black all the time.
  • Love Interest: To Buffy.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Literally; "perfect happiness" turns him into Angelus.
  • Mad Artist: Angelus was very protective of his 'work', considering it art. Drusilla was what you might call an extended performance piece.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Angelus was always coiffed in the old days.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Angelus's talent for (often sadistic) mind games and deception are legendary. Though he rarely makes use of it, Angel is still dangerously capable in this regard.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: If there's no evil around to throw himself in front of protecting innocents, he will either run out and find some more or he will wind up defending lesser evils while tormenting himself for doing so. It's a complex.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Part of the reason he leaves Buffy, the other, of course, being his Curse Escape Clause.
  • Misplaced Retribution: The gypsies didn't really think that through. Angel has to spend all of eternity suffering for the crimes of Angelus? Liam was a womanising jerk at worst, but Darla murdered him and a demon spent two centuries murdering and marauding with his face.
  • The Movie Buff: A fan of Charlton Heston movies, particularly The Omega Man. What a surprise. He's also seen enough vampire flicks to formulate opinions on which ones are more accurate. (Frank Langella nailed it.)
  • Mr. Fanservice: Shirtless often. The man likes his tai chi. He really is something to look at, and he's often chained up and tortured. He's even been bound by a vampire dominatrix more than once.
  • Mysterious Protector: Cryptic Guy — in the first season he'd turn up, warn Buffy of some danger, then vanish. It takes a while for Angel to evolve into the Bad Ass Hero he is now.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Creating the Twilight dimension by screwing Buffy, which let thousands of demons invade Earth, which resulted in the destruction of the Seed of Wonder and removed all magic from the world.
  • The Nose Knows: Vampiric super-senses, particularly centred around blood.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Angelus' Irish accent tends to come and go in flashbacks. Furthermore, having lived in America for the past hundred years, Angel speaks with a flawless American accent, though he states that he could speak with an Irish accent again if he wanted to.
  • Not Good with People:
    "I have two modes: Bite and avoid."
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Angel is fond of playing this role, often as a Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist. On set, the shorthand for this became "Herb Saunders" (Angel's alias in "Sense & Sensitivity").
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: Any idiot can eat somebody. Angelus likes to make artistic statements with the bodies afterward. He infamously posed Jenny Calender like a doll in Giles' bed (staging the scene to resemble a romantic interlude), and tricked a man into thinking his slain sons were still "asleep".
  • Offing the Offspring: An ancient scroll prophesied that Angel is doomed to do this. It's half-correct; Angel slays Connor in one timeline, but he survives in another reality.
  • Omnicidal Maniac:
    "My friends, we're about to make history. End."
  • Omniglot: He's had a lot of time to practice, and after a while places run out of people to murder, so you move to the next one and learn another language there.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: He is rarely called Liam. Lilah once called it a "wussy name".
  • Only One Name: Fred had to lie and say "Angel" is Connor's last name, with Angel using the alias "Geraldo Angel."
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Usually it's a sign of Angelus returning. It can also be a sign of Tranquil Fury, as Wesley finds out.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: It's hard for Boreanaz to maintain Angelus' Irish accent for more than half a minute.
  • Open Heart Dentistry: Angel has shown himself able to dig bullets out of his own body when pressed for time.
  • "Open!" Says Me: Angel fights the good fight — against doors.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Angelus in Season 2 has no real plan beyond "screw with Buffy". It isn't until the last few episodes that Acathla arrives and gives him an actual goal to work towards, and even that falls into his general attitude of "I will be as big a dick as I can."
  • Papa Wolf: Towards Connor. It took an entire episode before anybody was allowed to even approach him. As of Season 4, you would do well to avoid even implying his existence.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech:
    • Often lampooned. Jasmine keeps turning his own ultimatums against him (like you've never eaten people!), and Lindsey confesses he just zones out when the yapping starts.
    • In season 5, while he's in full flow of preaching to Illyria about the sanctity of all human life, including her flunky Knox despite the fact that Knox was the one who brought Illyria back and killed Fred, Wesley promptly cuts him short by gunning Knox down right then and there. Angel's response?
    Angel: Were you even listening?
  • Psychotic Smirk: Angelus always wears one because he's basically Psycho!Angel.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain:
    • Angelus and his constant jibes at the wheelchair-bound Spike. He's got a million of 'em, ladies and gentlemen.
    • When Angelus appears in season 4 of Angel, he uses the word "retarded" often.
  • Power Loss Makes You Strong: The Senior Partners, upon sending L.A. to Hell (After the Fall), simultaneously turn Angel human at the least convenient time possible.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Angelus mentions his superhearing picking up on Fred and Gunn having sex in an adjacent hotel room, and indulging in A Date with Rosie Palms.
  • The Punishment: Two hundred years of guilt and a prohibition against perfect happiness...Man can those gypsies hold a grudge.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He's fond of ballet, Barry Manilow, and Spike's poetry.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Just as he casts off the Angelus persona, Buffy runs him through with a sword and he gets pulled into Hell by Acathla. He comes back later.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: By the time Whistler found him, Angel was homeless and scrounging off of rat blood. (To add insult to injury, he has difficulty catching one.)
  • Riches to Rags: Angelus never had trouble maintaining a nice pad, expensive clothes, or box theater seats. ("I just ate the people who had 'em.") Once cursed and jilted by Darla, he spent years as a homeless bum living on rats.
  • Running Gag: His hair, his lousy singing, his "caveman brow", the leather pants he wore when he was evil and his occasional pettiness despite his advanced age.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: An exhaustive display in Angel season 2, in reaction to Darla being resurrected, tormented and then re-vamped by Wolfram and Hart suits. This culminated with Angel tossing the firm's entire senior staff to the wolves in the form of Drusilla and Darla.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Not only can Angel sniff the air and tell if the soil beneath him has been disturbed, he can glance at a spot of blood and immediately determine who and what it belongs to. This sort of blood hyper-analysis appears to be common to vamps. Spike mentions that you can tell if someone's evil by tasting their blood (it tastes like pennies).
  • Self-Made Orphan: "My parents were great. Tasted a lot like chicken."
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Poor Spike is left to rot in a wheelchair while the significantly less cuddly Angelus steals the spotlight.
  • Spiky Hair: Lampshaded on more than one occasion. Angel seems shocked when he views his reflection for the first time in Pylea, implying that his hairstyle is some sort of tragic accident.
    (examining head) "Why didn't anyone tell me about this?"
  • Split Personality Takeover: Whenever Angelus is unleashed.
  • The Sociopath: All normal vampires lack a soul and thus the ability to feel things like empathy and remorse, thus Angelus is one of these, though an exceptionally sadistic one.
  • Sadist: Angelus is renowned for being incredibly sadistic in his killings.
  • Stages of Monster Grief: Buffy previously flashed back to Angelus getting re-ensouled; Angel covers everything that happened before and after. It should be noted that this is an inversion of the trope as well, since Angel identifies more with Angelus than with with his original self, Liam - who, by the end of the show, he barely remembers being. It could be said that his grief was more over losing his freedom as a vampire by regaining his humanity than having been a human who was turned into a vampire. With his stages being:
    • Denial: His attempts to continue his life as a vampire despite his re-ensoulment.
    • Defiance: Angel never got to properly experience this stage, since Darla killed all the gypsies who re-ensouled him. He instead took it out on himself during his self-imposed 100 year exile from humanity and vampirekind. Angelus, however, did get to kill Jenny Calendar and an older male relative, both descendants of the gypsies who re-ensouled him.
    • Acceptance: After he met Whistler and Buffy.
    • Betrayal: Either after making love to Buffy and losing his soul, or....well, stay tuned...
  • Stalking Is Love: Angel in both his evil and not-evil incarnations. He met and fell in love with Buffy when she was 15. He then stalked her for a year before revealing himself and he's still up it on the fifth season of Angel, despite being burdened with a desk job! (He has "a source" keeping tabs on her in Italy.) Spike thinks it's pathetic.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Angel, vampire. Buffy, slayer thereof. Add that to his curse and its consequences if broken, and we have two crazy kids who aren't ever sorting it out.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Lampshaded repeatedly.
    Xander: Okay, that's it. I'm putting a collar with a little bell around that guy.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: Photographic Memory, Super Reflexes, ultra-sensitive hearing and sense of smell in the later seasons. When you re-watch the earlier seasons, you can't help but notice countless situations where, in retrospect, they inexplicably fail to help him. Angel mentioned that he can't control his photographic memory; it just "kicks in on instinct".
  • Suicide By Sunlight: Attempted in "Amends", but he gets saved by a Christmas Miracle.
  • Team Dad: Lampshaded early on, in which Angel addresses to a bickering Cordelia and Wesley as "children."
  • The Teetotaler: After a fashion. Word of God states that Angel's abstinence from human blood is a metaphor for this.
  • Tranquil Fury: Uses it quite a bit. When he drops the "Tranquil" part, run. For. Your. Life.
  • Vampire Detective: Once he starts up Angel Investigations, he is a vampire taking cases.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Exclusively drinks pig's blood, which turns off some people. note  As Wolfram and Hart's CEO, he can afford to keep himself in otter blood.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Angelus calls Buffy "lover" and "Buff" numerous times, just to remind her how it happened.
  • Thicker Than Water: Like it or not, Darla is the closest thing to family he has. Even his team comes second. In the Season Four finale, Angel agrees to mind wipe his team (and, in fact, the world) in exchange for saving Connor's life. Wesley is rightly steamed when he uncovers this.
  • Think Nothing of It: Much-ridiculed by Spike, who sees it as a cheap act to impress women.
  • Token Heroic Orc: For a long time he was the only heroic vampire around.
  • Torture Technician: He has some experience in this area. The mere threat is enough make people talk.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Darla. Cordelia compares them to an undead Bonnie and Clyde.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: His blossoming feelings toward Cordy.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Wolfram & Hart's stated mission of bringing Angel to their side. Sound pretty far-fetched? The road to Hell is paved with good intentions...
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: "Mmm, Angel! ♥" Though the Immortal ended up out-performing in this regard, as usual.
  • Villain Cred: Even the Master held Angelus in high regard, intending to appoint him Dragon. The Mayor was keen to have Angelus on his team, as well.
    Nostoyev: Used to be quite the terror back in the day. Haven't heard much of you lately, though.
    Angel: Haven't heard much of you, ever.
  • Villainous BSOD: Angel's curse was designed to invoked this by returning his soul and crushing him with guilt.
  • We Can Rule Together: The protracted war between Angel Investigations and Wolfram & Hart LLC comes to an apparent close in A4, when the firm suffers huge losses at the hands of Jasmine and her pet Beast. The firm magically rematerialized with a new office building, but with a worker shortage: Impressed by Angel's ingenuity and ideas, they offer him an ever-increasing suitcase of money — essentially corporate head-hunting — until he finally caves and unilaterally merges his agency into the firm (admittedly to save his son). This leads us into S5 where most of Angel's ideas for reform end up in the conference room wastebasket.
  • Weak, but Skilled: As far as credible villains go, Angelus is not on the same scale as the ascended Mayor but he's a Master Vampire who has been in the game for over two hundred years and is powerful enough to stalemate Buffy, an unusually strong Slayer. His greatest asset, however, (aside from a meticulous brand of viciousness that would make The Joker proud) is his inside knowledge of the Scoobies, which he uses to full effect.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: As a human, Liam was held in contempt by his father, who believed that his son would never amount to anything but being a lazy, promiscuous drunk. When he became Angelus, he sat out to prove his father wrong by making a name for himself, namely by becoming the most flamboyantly sadistic vampire ever recorded in human history.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Everything he did as Twilight was apparently to prevent anything like the Fall of Los Angeles from ever happening again.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Unlike Buffy, who flatly refuses to kill humans as she believes they're out of the Slayer's jurisdiction except in the most dire of circumstances, Angel is perfectly capable of and willing to take a human life if he feels the need arises. Case in point: he kills Vanessa Brewer, an Ax-Crazy Psycho for Hire with a Disability Superpower who, thanks to Wolfram & Hart, constantly got off totally scot-free before then.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After he gets exposed as Twilight, everybody has this reaction to him, especially after it is revealed he was an Unwitting Pawn to a evil dimension trying to end the world. After he gets possessed by the real Twilight and kills Giles and Buffy is forced to destroy the Seed of Wonder to stop the destruction of the world, the only ones willing to associate with Angel and not try to kill him are Buffy and Faith, and Buffy can't even look at him. Willow, however, has grown past this somewhat, but she still states that she hasn't forgiven him for his actions yet.
  • When He Smiles: He makes everything shiny.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: "I thought I'd take the village."
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Angel would rather be mortal again.
  • The Worf Effect: If someone's going to get punched across the room by the latest big nasty, it will be the immortal, super-powered vampire.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Constantly told to do so while constantly reminded that he can't, or rather, ''shouldn't. He's not an eunch, but it would have worse results.

    Cordelia Chase 

Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter)

Click here  to see Cordelia in Angel
"Tact is just not saying true stuff. I pass."

->"I think it, I say it. That's my way."

Cordelia was the rich and popular queen of Sunnydale High, until her parents were busted for tax evasion, subsequently losing everything. She moves to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career and joins up with Angel, encouraging him to set up a detective agency as a way to make ends meet (for her). Cordelia undergoes a huge amount of Character Development during the series, going from a spoiled, selfish brat to a kind-hearted, selfless individual.
  • Action Girl: Becomes an effective one in Angel. In Buffy, she is not one, leaning more towards Action Survivor.
  • Alliterative Name: Charisma Carpenter plays Cordelia Chase.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Her passion for footwear is noted on several occasions.
  • Alpha Bitch: Was definitely this while at Sunnydale during the first season. She eventually became the Lovable Alpha Bitch.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Cordelia ascends to becomes a Power That Be, but was only chosen for the job because she had proved that the power wouldn't go to her head, and not once does she call herself a god. However, she is promptly fired when she uses her powers to help the gang. It's worth noting that all of this may have been a plot orchestrated by the season's big bad.
    Skip:' Cordelia was chosen to become a higher being because she's such a pure, radiant saint. (scoffs) PLEASE!
  • Back for the Dead In her Season Five appearance.
  • Backhanded Compliment: Any time Cordy tries to be relatively nice, this is the result.
  • Bad Bad Acting: Enough to make Angel nostalgic for Hell.
    • She's often shown as being a fairly poor actress but, strangely, an excellent liar; capable of fooling even Angelus.
    • Later Cordelia evolves into a capable actress; unfortunately, her read-throughs are invariably spoiled by a vision.
  • Bad Liar: It's just as well that Cordy doesn't sugarcoat the truth, because she can't lie to save her life. The one exception is "Homecoming", when she convinced a vampire she was Faith the Vampire Slayer.
  • Blessed with Suck: The visions which show people in trouble at the cost of extreme migraines that will eventually kill her.
  • The Brainless Beauty: Was originally led to be this, but then she showed Hidden Depths. It was Lampshaded early in Season 3 when discussing the SAT:
    "Actually, I'm looking forward to it. I do well on standardized tests." (beat) "What? I can't have layers?"
  • Brutal Honesty: "Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass."
  • Bullying a Dragon: Throughout the first season, she took every possible opportunity to pick on and insult Buffy despite full knowledge that she burned her last high school's gym down.
  • Butt Monkey
    Cordelia: Why are these terrible things always happening to me?
    Xander: *cough* Karma! *cough*
  • Cast from Lifespan: After she took on Doyle's visions. Humans aren't strong enough to handle the visions, and they began to cause her extensive brain damage to the extent that she chose to become a half-demon to survive and keep them.
  • Character Development: Between the two series she goes from a shallow Alpha Bitch to someone who can realistically be said to be deserving of becoming one of The Powers That Be ( Gambit Roulette by Jasmine or not, she's proven herself time and time again) and it happened so gradually no one really noticed.
  • Closet Geek: While working for Angel, she often made references to Star Wars and Star Trek. This could qualify as Hidden Depths, considering her treatment of outspoken nerds in high school.
  • Comically Missing the Point: All too often, someone will make a remark and Cordelia will agree in some shallow, appearance-related fashion.
    Xander: You're talking about messing with powerful magic, and you're weak.
    Willow: I'm okay.
    Xander: You don't look okay. (to Cordelia) Does she?
    Cordelia: You should listen to him. The hair, it's so flat.
  • Commuting on a Bus: She stops regularly appearing from season 3, episode 14 of Angel to her final episode in season 5. First she's on vacation with Groo, then she becomes a higher power, then she spends most of a season controlled by Jasmine until she gives "birth" to her, and then remains in a coma until she passes before the end of the series.
  • Fainting Seer: Her visions are something akin to "having my skull cracked open and hot lava poured in." In fact, she's probably better described as a Shrieking, Twitching, Convulsing And Then Fainting Seer.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Inverted Trope. Her brownies could qualify as nuclear waste.
  • Finding Judas Unwittingly became Jasmine's corporeal agent on the Earth, gradually losing her entire personality in the process. It was so subtle that no one in Angel Investigations noticed until she was too forgone to save.
  • Gang Of Bullies / Girl Posse: The Cordettes. Angel would later liken them to the KGB, but with nicer shoes. Cordelia's "friends" give her a taste of her own medicine when she starts to date Xander.
  • Girl Friday: Though initially confined to the office, Cordelia becomes more proactive in cases after receiving the visions, which are often vague and require her to examine clues to make sense of it.
  • Global Ignorance: "Oh, yesterday your cousin called, with one of those names from your part of England."
    Doyle: ... My part of England?
  • Gold Digger:
    • Thwarted by Doyle's gallantry, which starts making her dating pool look rather pathetic. Her date (a stock broker) cannonballs into his Beamer and races off at first sight of a vamp without the slightest hesitation in leaving Cordie behind to be eaten.
    "All I could think about was: if this wimp ever saw a monster he'd probably throw a shoe at it and run like a weasel! Turns out the shoe part was giving him too much credit."
    • Cordelia contemplates marrying incredibly rich and lonely geek David Nabbit, but accepts that even she has limits.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Not quite as tactless and rude as she was in her Buffy debut, but she can still be very sharp-tongued.
  • The Heart: Increasingly so as time passes, especially after the first-season finale "To Shanshu in L.A." Fred calls her this at one point.
  • Heroic Fatigue: As a human, Cordelia was not meant to shoulder the responsibility of Doyle's visions ("a big cosmic whoops", as Skip calls it). She secretly takes powerful painkillers and undergoes CAT scans that indicate the slow deterioration of her brain. Yet when presented with the opportunity to pass her visions onto someone else (the gallant Groosalugg, and later Angel in an alternate reality), Cordelia refuses, stating that the visions are a part of her and make her who she is.
  • Holy Backlight: Whilst twiddling her thumbs in the afterlife.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Two examples while working with Angel:
    • When Harmony comes to town, Cordelia continues to trust her and demand that her friends give her a fair chance even after discovering she is a vampire, dismissing Angel's warnings that vampires are Always Chaotic Evil and can't be trusted. He's proven right when she sides with the vampire cult she was supposed to be helping A.I. investigate.
    • Then, when Darla shows up pregnant with Angel's child, Cordelia readily defends her from Angel and tries to keep her comfortable, which comes back to bite her (literally) when Darla attacks her. After Angel comes in and saves her, Cordelia even acknowledges that she blew it.
  • Important Haircut: Several. The most notable one is her blonde makeover, which remains even after her return from the afterlife (possibly a Call Back to Buffy's return from heaven on BtVS) — soon to darken back to its original color when Jasmine possesses her.
  • Intimate Marks: She has a tattoo on her back, right directly above her rear. It's the actress's real tattoo, but we've seen it onscreen on the shows a few times.
  • Lady of War: Following a few lessons in swordsmanship by Angel.
  • Living Bodysuit: Revealed in Season 4 to be acting under the control of Jasmine.
  • Mandatory Line: Most of the time her role in Season One was just to appear, act bitchy, then leave.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Charisma Carpenter is noted for her many outreaches to fans, most prominent of which is that, unlike most of her co-stars, she absolutely refuses to charge for an autograph at any convention she attends.
  • The Mole In Season 4 of Angel.
  • Money Fetish:
    • She can smell money. "Hide some in the office sometime, and watch her. It's uncanny."
    • She feels herself getting warm by a software geek peddling financial advice.
  • Morality Chain: A peek into an alternate timeline shows what would happen to Angel if he didn't have Cordy around. He goes insane.
  • Put on a Bus: To L.A.! She then gets put on a bus several times over the course of Angel.
  • Riches to Rags: When her father loses all his money to the IRS.
  • Romantic False Lead: Angel immediately ends up in her crosshairs. Luckily, Angel later confesses that he always found the noblewomen of his era (for whom Cordelia is the modern avatar) to be a horrific bore.
  • Second Love: Ironic, since Angel used to find the noblewomen of his era (of whom Cordelia is a modern avatar) to be a horrific bore but Cordelia immediately had a crush on him on Buffy so it's keeping in continuity.
  • Secretly Dying: Since the visions were intended for demons, they begin to physically damage her brain. Skip circumvents this by turning her half-demon.
  • Skewed Priorities: Though they become less skewed over the years.
  • Team Mom: Lampshaded once a baby enters the picture.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Cordelia in "Rm w/a Vu". Within a few hours, Angel's basement is covered wall-to-wall with Cordelia's trophies, there's peanut butter on his bed, his leather chair is ruined, and Cordelia is busily cutting up his linoleum floor to examine the hardwood.
  • Those Two Guys: Usually ends up as Giles's research partner while Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Oz are out on patrol. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Threshold Guardian: Provides an example of a non-adversarial Threshold Guardian; when she invites Buffy to join the popular girls' clique, she forces Buffy to choose between her calling as the Slayer and her desire to be a popular girl.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Zig Zagged in Season Three when Xander cheats on her, effectively ousting her from the Gang. Cordelia attempts to return to her old ways, but Harmony has usurped her position and shut the door. Cordelia returns to aid the Scoobies in the Season Three Finale. Her move to Angel cements her growth as a caring person.
  • Took A Level In Smartass: While the penultimate episode of the first season revealed Cordelia wasn't quite the airhead she seemed, she still seemed of relatively average intelligence. It was only in season three that she was offically established (or retconned) as being very bright (see the quote under Brainless Beauty above.)
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: The Venerable Monarch of Pylea, General of the Ravenous Legions, Eater of Our Enemy's Flesh, Prelate of the Sacrificial Blood Rites, and Sovereign Proconsul of Death.
  • Uptown Girl: She kept her torrid love affair with Xander secret out of fear of what her peers would think.
  • Ultimate Job Security: You can't fire her. She's Vision Girl. *sticks out tongue*. Angel is rudely awakened to this fact after he does fire her.
    Angel: Well, I know she can't type or file. Until today, I had some hope regarding the phone.
  • Waiting for a Break: In the first and second seasons.
    Doyle: I think it's refreshing to see a woman living like this, you know. It means you're not so uptight, you live for the moment— (steps in a bowl of oatmeal) You're disgusting.
  • Weakness Turns Her On: The possibility of intimacy with Angel doesn't comes up until Cordelia glimpses a world in which she never joined the agency. This resulted in Angel inheriting Doyle's visions instead, causing him to go mad.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Possibly caught the condition living in Sunnydale.
  • Woman in Black: While under Jasmine's control.
  • Woman in White: After ascendeding.
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: Hanging around Angel and Doyle has ruined her for preening, rich day trader types. (No comment on Wesley.)
  • You Are Worth Hell: Literally, and on multiple occasions.

    Anya, née Aud 

Anya, née Aud (Emma Caulfield)

" I was feared and worshipped across the mortal globe and now I'm stuck at Sunnydale High. A mortal! A child! And I'm flunking math."

Originally a 1,120-year-old vengeance demon who lost her powers and eventually joined the Scooby Gang. She was a Love Interest for Xander for three seasons before their relationship ended, and she went back to being a Vengeance Demon. Lost her powers and rejoined the Scoobies in early Season 7.
  • Brutal Honesty: "I hate us! Everybody's so nice. Nobody says what's on their mind."
    • Her reputation for Brutal Honesty, being a Deadpan Snarker, and basically being an insensitive bitch lead to one of the most powerful and poignant Tear Jerker moments in the entire series: her emotional breakdown after the death of Joyce Summers in "The Body".
    Anya: "Are they gonna cut the body open?"
    Willow: "Oh my God! Would you just... stop talking? Just... shut your mouth. Please."
    Anya: "What am I doing?"
    Willow: "How can you act like that?"
    Anya: "Am I supposed to be changing my clothes a lot? I mean, is that the helpful thing to do?"
    Xander: "Guys..."
    Willow: "The way you behave..."
    Anya: "Nobody will tell me."
    Willow: "Because it's not okay for you to be asking these things!"
    Anya: "But I don't understand!" [begins to cry] "I don't understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she's — There's just a body! And I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore! (begins crying heavily) "It's stupid! It's mortal and stupid! "And-and Xander's crying and not talking, and — and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, Well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever," (completely loses it) "and no one will explain to me why."
  • Characterization Marches On: She was able to infiltrate Cordelia's social circle in her first appearance, then she swung in the opposite direction once she started appearing regularly.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: She couldn't act on any of it (until mid-season six), but she openly missed the days when she could solve her problems by eviscerating people. Spike can relate.
    Anya: I'd kill for [R.J]!
    Willow: You'd kill for a chocolate bar.
  • Humanity Ensues: Though it's eventually revealed she was human to begin with, a very long time ago.
  • Humans Are Bastards: It was easy for her to be a vengeance demon because humans do a lot of things that need avenging. Three years of fighting alongside the Scoobies allowed her to see the goodness in people and made it hard to go back to vengeance.
  • In Love with the Mark: Originally appears with the intention of cursing Xander who cheated on Cordelia.
  • Jack of All Stats: She's competent in both hand-to-hand combat and spellcasting, although she pales by comparison to Buffy and Spike in hand-to-hand combat, and to Willow, Tara, and Giles in magic.
  • Jackass Genie: She would take wishes that were already negative in nature and make them even worse, which is how she sparked the Russian Revolution.

    Oz 

Daniel "Oz" Osbourne (Seth Green)

"A werewolf in love."

Guitarist for a local band who became a werewolf, as well as Willow's boyfriend. Left in early Season 4. Nigh-impossible to faze. In the comics, he married a fellow werewolf with whom he had a son. Together they teach other werewolves to conquer their demons. He later assisted the Slayer Organization during the Twilight crisis.
  • Above the Influence: The first time Willow tries to get him to kiss her, he thinks she is trying to get at Cordelia and Xander and instead he wants to be the gentleman and wait. The second time is after he caught Willow cheating on him, and she tries to seduce him. He lets her down and says she doesn't have to prove anything to him, and rejects her obvious sexual advances.
  • Back for the Finale: His final on-screen appearance is in Willow's dream in the season 4 finale, "Restless".
  • Black Eyes of Evil: One of the first things to change during a transformation.
  • Breakout Character: He was the one originally intended to be killed by Angelus in "Passion," but due to his popularity, he was spared, and Jenny Calendar was killed in his place.
  • Cannot Convey Sarcasm: "That was my sarcastic voice."
    Xander: You know, it sounds a lot like your regular voice.
    Oz: I've been told that.
  • Dismotivation: He and Willow were both tracked by a leading software company in "What's My Line" - the difference is, he wasn't all that excited about it. "I sort of test well, which is cool. Except it leads to jobs."
  • Dull Surprise: The minute he sees Buffy stake a vampire, he brushes it off and says it "explains a lot."
  • Fake Band: Oz is in a band called Dingoes Ate My Baby, after the famous case where Azaria Chamberlain was reportedly taken by a wild dog. Dingoes are from Australia, or 'Oz.'
  • Split Personality Takeover: Comes very close to invoking this voluntarily after it appears his struggles against his werewolf self are futile.
  • The Stoic: His reaction upon finding out that he's a werewolf? "Huh." He has the same reaction with a bemused grin when he's meditating in Tibet and a submarine is teleported outside the temple.
  • Terse Talker: Take this exchange while Xander is quizzing him on what makes him "cool"-
    Xander: Is it about the talking? You know, the-the way you tend to express yourself in short, non-committal phrases?
    Oz: Could be.
  • Wolf Man: In season 2, his werewolf form is portrayed as standing on two legs with a fully lupine head. In season 3 and 4 it's portrayed as a quadruped with a muzzle-less face.

    Spike 

Spike, né William Pratt (James Marsters)

"I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it."

British vampire who served as the villain for early Season 2. Was planned to die, but his popularity saved him. He showed up in one episode in Season 3 before returning for good in Season 4. Had a chip in his head that prevented him from hurting humans, so he joined up with the Scoobies for survival and so he could get his kicks by fighting demons. Eventually fell in love with Buffy, and had a twisted relationship with her in Season 6. Got a soul at the end of Season 6 and made a Heroic Sacrifice in the finale. Reappeared on Angel.
  • Always Second Best: To Angel/Angelus, as both a hero and a villain. In "Just Rewards," Wesley and Angel outright state that Spike's reputation for evil and bloodshed is second only to Angelus's.
  • Amazon Chaser: Drusilla, Slayers in general and Buffy in particular - it's not a stretch to say he's only interested in women who can (and do) kick his ass. Outright stated in the After the Fall comics.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: He managed to improve his social skills over the course of a century, but he has a mixed bag of vaguely bipolar, obsessive, borderline and schizoidal tendencies which come and go with the story. Whenever he's bored, he'll do something ridiculously suicidal just for the hell of it, he stalked Buffy for over a year, and once had a full-blown psychotic episode.
  • Anti-Hero: Was a Nominal Hero but plowed his way up to becoming an Unscrupulous Hero.
  • Anti-Villain: Before becoming an Anti-Hero, he was this for his single appearance in Season 3. He was just too heartbroken to go all-out with the evil.
  • At Least I Admit It: See the above quote.
  • Author Appeal: Marti Noxon has an affinity for Naked!Spike.
  • Badass: His fight against Nikki Wood squarely places him in this territory - the man fought and killed a Slayer not because of dumb luck, but just plain skill. Even Buffy at one point calls him the best warrior they had against The First's army. During Season Five, Buffy admitted that he was the only person besides her with a chance of winning in a physical fight against Glory. Bear in mind that Glory is a Physical God.
  • Badass Longcoat: Even before killing Nikki Wood, Spike was a fan of leather trench coats as a certain dead SS officer can certainly attest to. Didn't really bother removing the swastika armband though (in that regard, Angel mistook him for a Nazi).
  • Bad Boss: In Season 2 Spike sacrifices a vampire mook on two separate occasions ("School Hard" and "Halloween") just to get an idea of how the Slayer fights.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: In Season 5's "Spiral," he stops a Knight of Byzantium's sword from stabbing through the roof of their Winnebago and impaling Buffy through the skull, managing to hold it in place long enough for Buffy to get out through the roof hatch and take the fight to the Knights. It's played realistically: his hands are gashed and bandaged for the remainder of the episode.
  • Basement-Dweller: Spends parts of season 4 and 7 hiding out in basements.
  • Battle Trophy: His Badass Longcoat is one: he stripped it off the body of the second Slayer he killed.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: He bonded with Joyce and Dawn Summers for this reason, and he shows his better side when Buffy treats him respectfully.
  • Been There, Shaped History: He was involved in the Boxer Rebellion; it was when he killed his first Slayer.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: He didn't steal Billy Idol's look. Billy Idol stole his!
  • Big Fancy House: In After the Fall, Spike takes over the Playboy Mansion and uses it as his residence after dusting a vampirized Hef.
  • Bi the Way / Depraved Bisexual: Implied once in a off-hand comment; "Me and Angel have never been intimate... Well, except that one time—" Apart from this one-off gag, theres no other evidence to suggest he's sexually or romantically attracted to men, and lots to suggest he's attracted to women.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Season 4 and part of Season 5.
    Glory (about Spike): What the hell is that, and why is its hair that color?
  • Blood Knight: Fighting isn't all he lives for, but it's a good portion of it. He especially likes it when he really can't tell who's going to win, which Angelus found unsophisticated.
  • Bond Breaker: In the season four finale. He didn't create the problems the Scooby Gang were facing, but made them likelier to anger and alienate each other. He calls it the Yoko Factor.
  • Book Ends: In his earliest canonical appearance, Spike (under his human identity, William) recites a bad poem to his crush and gets shot down ("Fool For Love", Buffy S5). Spike delivers the same performance at a poetry slam in the Series Finale; this time, the whole audience applauds and cheers.
  • Butt Monkey: When he was wheelchair bound, Angelus persistently kept making fun of him and taunting him. Later it was later revealed that he was not as wheelchair-bound as he seemed. When he was chipped, absolutely everyone took great satisfaction and pleasure in humiliating him. This was justified, given that he spent the majority of it insulting everybody back and telling them that he was going to kill them all as soon as he got the chip out.
  • Breakout Character/Breakout Villain: Joss originally intended for him to be killed off midway through the second season, but Spike ended up so popular with audiences that he changed his mind.
  • Break the Haughty: For a guy that cocky, his face sure does seem to be a fist-magnet.
  • Closet Geek: While the Scoobies are holding him hostage in Season 4, his biggest concern is missing the next episode of Passions.
  • Closet Sublet: With Anya gone, Spike ignominiously moves into a 'spare room' in Xander's apartment.
    "I know it looks like a closet but it's a room now."
  • Clothes Make the Legend/Iconic Item: His original trenchcoat gets burned to tatters but Wolfram & Hart immediately supplies him with eleven exact duplicates of the coat.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Lampshaded on several occasions, most notably when Spike makes his Anguished Declaration of Love.
    Joyce: Honey, did you somehow, unintentionally, lead him on in any way? Send him signals?
    Buffy: Well, I do beat him up a lot. For Spike, that's like third base.
  • The Confidant: For Buffy in the first half of Season 6.
  • Cool Airship: We don't know where he got it, but it is awesome.
  • Cool Bike: That he stole from a demon biker in Season 6.
  • Cultured Badass: Can quote Henry V with the best of them. "We band of buggered."
  • Deadpan Snarker: His parody of a conversation between Angel and a Distressed Damsel in "In the Dark" is awesomely hilarious.
  • Depending on the Writer: Spike's level of evilness after being chipped seems to depend on who's writing him. Borders on Heel-Face Revolving Door.
    • Also how smart he is.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In the final episodes of Season 4, he schemes to break up the Scoobies by exploiting the existing tensions between the group, and then planting evidence to lure Buffy into a trap as part of Adam's plan. However, after all is said and done, Adam points out that Spike gave Willow said evidence, and Willow won't be speaking to Buffy now; Spike quickly goes out to rectify it.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: In Season 4, Willow and Xander take him along with them while going to prevent an apocalypse to prevent him from staking himself. Spike thanks them by taunting and insulting them, blatantly stating that he doesn't want pity from people who he perceives to be even more useless than he is.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "William the Bloody" actually refers to his bloody awful poems, not blood drinking.
  • Environmental Symbolism: A sign saying BEWARE OF DOG is shown behind Spike on several occasions.
  • Entitled Bastard: After being chipped and pursued by the Initiative, he fully expects Buffy and the Scoobies to help him despite being one of their worst enemies at the time.
  • Eternal Love: What he hoped he had with Drusilla. Then they had a falling out.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: William's hope was to live in blissful trinity with his vampirized mum and Drusilla (to Dru's consternation). The Plan went sour when his mum promptly tried to molest him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Spike has a low tolerance for "poseur" vampires who act above their station, believing they give the undead a bad name. Contrary to his love of brawling, he's also adverse to wanton destruction; Spike enjoys the good life and isn't going to let Angelus destroy the world if he can help it.
    • He genuinely liked Buffy's mother, and is upset at her death.
  • Evil Brit: At first. Now he's more of an anti-heroic Brit.
  • Evil Is Petty: He nonchalantly grabs Xander's radio when packing up to leave Xander's apartment. When Xander calls him on this, Spike replies, "And you're what, shocked and disappointed? I'm evil!"
  • Eviler Than Thou: At the very end of his debut episode, he personally kills the Anointed One and takes command of the remnants of the Order of Aurelius.
    Spike: From now on, we're gonna have a little less ritual and a little more fun around here!
  • Expansion Pack Past: It comes as a surprise to learn his entire persona is a lie. "Spike" is really William Pratt, a wimpy poet who was considered the runt of his original pack.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Before getting chipped. Comparing him to Mayor Wilkins is a good lesson in the difference between Affably Evil and Faux Affably Evil.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine (In Angelus' old vampire gang.)
  • Freudian Excuse: Two of them.
    • The first was Spike siring his mother, who he adored, only for her to try and seduce him as a vampire, leading to him being forced to stake her. Naturally this would be very traumatic and likely sent him off the rails.
    • The second is Angelus. It's been discussed in the show that Angelus made Spike evil and Spike hated that Angelus did so in order for there to be someone as disgusting as he was before as Liam and after as a vampire.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Much like Liam, "William the Bloody" was a pretty unremarkable human being.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Trope Namer, though it was on Angel and he was being sarcastic. Unlike Angel, he gets roped into saving people by a fork-tongued Lindsey McDonald, attorney at law.
  • Fully-Embraced Fiend: To better contrast with Angel. The soul leads to insane ranting, self-mutilation and at least one Suicide by Cop attempt, but he never particularly angsts about being in a vampire body.
  • Genius Bruiser: He might not know all that science stuff and whatnot, but he's as smart and as analytical as he is strong.
  • The Glasses Got To Go: Needed them while alive, but tossed them afterward. His appearance gradually became more unkempt as he worked to build his reputation as a real killer - a street-fighting vampire.
  • Go Out with a Smile: In the final episode of season 7. Even as his flesh and muscle is being toasted off and the Hellmouth is crumbling around him, Spike still smirks and laughs as he crumbles to dust.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Saves a woman from a vampire in a dark alley in "Soul Purpose", and then chews her out for being dumb enough to walk through an alley alone at night.
  • Guilty Pleasures: Dawson's Creek and Passions.
  • Hannibal Has a Point: Spike's legendary "Love's Bitch" speech in Season 3:
    Spike: You're not "friends." You'll never be friends. You'll be in love 'til it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag and you'll hate each other 'til it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it.
    • Buffy even acknowledges this later:
    Buffy: I can fool my friends. I can even fool Giles. But I can't fool myself... or Spike, for some reason.
  • Heartbroken Badass: In season 3, when Drusilla breaks up with him.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Slowly over the course of four seasons.
  • Heel Realization: Oddly occurs well after his Heel Face Door Slam. A deranged Slayer kidnaps and tortures him, mistaking Spike for a man who tormented her during her childhood. At the end, Spike realizes it didn't matter that he never laid a finger on the girl, because he'd done plenty worse to other people.
  • Hero Killer: He's killed two past Slayers, a fact he takes much pride in.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the Buffy Grand Finale he dies keeping the Hellmouth closed. He gets better.
  • Hero with an F in Good: In seasons 5 and 6, he frequently falls into this trope, often doing things not because it's right but because it's what Buffy would want.
    Spike: I'm not sampling, I'll have you know. Just look at all these lovely blood-covered people. I could, but not a taste for Spike, not a lick. Knew you wouldn't like it.
    Spike: Well, yeah.
    Buffy: You're disgusting.
    • It starts back in season 4, when he's "forced" by his condition (he only could hurt monsters, but not humans) to fight alongside the good guys.
    Spike: What's this? Sitting around watching the telly while there's evil still afoot? It's not very industrious of you. I say, we go out there, and kick a little demon ass. What, can't go without your Buffy? Is that it? Too chicken? Let's find her. She is the Chosen One, after all. Come on! Vampires! Grrr! Nasty. Let's annihilate them. For justice, and for the safety of puppies, and Christmas, right? Let's fight that evil. Let's kill something. Oh, come on!
  • He's Back: Spike gets more than one.
    • When he discovers he can hurt demons, he promptly cuts loose and beats the shit out of one.
    Spike: That's right! I'm back, and I'm a BLOODY ANIMAL! YEAH!!
    • In "Get It Done," he has a pretty epic one, complete with the return of the Badass Longcoat.
  • Hidden Depths: He's surprisingly good at predicting Willow's behavior.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In Season 9, he wants Buffy to have as normal a life as possible and is avoiding any romantic entanglement with her because of it. He even says he would be thrilled if Detective Dowling wanted to date her. Both Dowling and Eldre Koh can tell that he's still carrying a torch.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: There's an entire video here detailing how often Spike gets his ass handed to him by just about everyone in the cast.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: After his Heel-Face Turn, he's still an asshole but he's heroic now.
  • Knight of Cerebus: When Spike comes crashing through the Sunnydale welcome sign, gets out of his car and says "Home sweet home", it marks the beginning of a storyline that takes the entire series in a darker direction.
  • Laughably Evil: "In the Dark." When he we next see him four seasons later, he's reformed his ways.
    Cordelia: Heard you weren't evil anymore. Which kinda makes the hair silly.
  • Layman's Terms: This became his gimmick during the gang's expository speeches (on both shows).
  • Leeroy Jenkins: On more than one occasion, his lack of patience has resulted in him heedlessly screwing up his own evil plans.
    Spike: I had a plan!
    Angel: You? A plan?
    Spike: A good plan! Smart plan! Carefully laid out! ...But I got bored.
  • Limited Wardrobe: He's rarely seen without his duster.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: This sums up the differences between him and Angel in a nutshell; he doesn't regret becoming immortal, he revels in it.
  • Living Lie Detector: Combined with Brutal Honesty. Mocks Buffy and Angel's attempts at being "Just Friends", points out that Willow is "hanging on by a thread" after breaking up with Oz, and accuses Buffy (and, by extension, all Slayers) of having a secret death wish in season five.
  • Love Martyr: Lampshades it with both his character quote and the page quote.
    Spike: I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it.
  • Love Redeems: Unlike Angel, whose soul was forced on him, he sought out someone to return his soul so he would be more deserving of Buffy.
  • Manchurian Agent: In the seventh season, the First forces him to kill again whenever he hears "Early One Morning."
  • Momma's Boy: He turned his mother into a vamp so they can be together forever. It's also the root of his attraction to Drusilla, his sire.
  • Musical Trigger: The First takes control of Spike with the folk song "Early One Morning," which Spike's mother often sang to him when he was human.
  • Not Even Bothering with an Excuse: In "Triangle," he brushes off Xander's request that he try to fight Olaf the Troll because he's "paralyzed by not caring very much."
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Near the end of Season 4. The Scoobies are firmly convinced that Spike, due to his Restraining Bolt, is no longer a threat... until he proves them wrong by manipulating the existing tensions within the group and turning them against one another.
  • Not Worth Killing: In season 4's "Doomed," Xander, during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech, remarks that, though he knows that he could easily kick Spike's ass as a result of his being chipped, he's so pathetic right now that he's not worth the effort.
  • Odd Friendship: With Joyce. The two shared several hot chocolate moments together and talk about Series/Passions.
  • Only Sane Man: Quickly assumes he's this when Glory's spell makes everyone forget Glory is Ben every time he explains it to them.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Does this often when he's trying to court Buffy.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Temporarily turned incorporeal after he burns up in the Hellmouth. Angel's amulet brings him back as a ghost, though one that is radiating heat.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He knows that he's man enough to admit that he's love's bitch. He's not just saying it too. He's one bad vampire.
  • Rebel Relaxation: When you're a ghost, there's not much else to do but kick back and annoy the hell out of Angel.
  • Red Baron: When Hell-A is split up between various demon "Lords", Spike crowns himself Lord of Beverly Hills. (After the Fall)
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Even after his attempts at redemption, he is almost never really trusted by the Scoobies, who continually hound him with abuse and scorn. On the other hand, 120 years of him killing for fun. Plus, when he was originally forced to beg for their help, he spent a lot of time telling them how much he hated them and how he was going to kill them all, first chance he got. The abuse and scorn wasn't exactly one-sided. Even when he started trying to be what Buffy wanted, some of his attempts were... off, and the gang knew quite well that he was motivated by feelings for Buffy rather than a genuine desire for redemption. There's a difference. Even if he was planning not to repeat his past evil actions, he didn't actually feel remorse for them. Speaking pre-Season Seven.
  • Reminiscing About Your Victims: Is fond of recalling the Slayers he has killed.
  • Restraining Bolt: Once the Initiative puts a chip in his head, he was unable to kill the living.
  • Retcon: Angel being his sire and that he respected him. Flashbacks show Drusilla sired him and that he and Angel were always at each other's throats. Word of God expains this by saying that vamps refer to anyone in their bloodline before them as their sire, so Spike would refer to Darla and The Master as his sires too.
  • The Rival:
    • To Angel, as revenge for all those times Angelus humiliated him and stole his girlfriend. Then the Shanshu prophecy mentions a vampire with a soul, not Angel specifically.
    • He butted heads with Riley on frequent occasions.
  • Saying Too Much: After his Yoko Factor plan successfully splits up the Scoobies during season 4, Spike has a subsequent encounter with Buffy and mentions her falling out with her friends; as he wasn't actually there when the Scoobies had their big fight, Buffy puts two-and-two together and realizes that Spike set them up.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Some of this is due to Did Not Do the Bloody Research, but it's also a character trait.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Smokes Morley cigarettes and looks badass doing it.
  • Sour Supporter: After being chipped, he helps but he hates it. He becomes a more enthusiastic Scoobie after falling in love with Buffy.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Like it or not, Spike eventually became the center of gravity for the entire cast. This started out gradually, kicking into overdrive once Marti Noxon took the helm. There's a reason it's just him and Buffy on the Season 7 box.
  • Stalker with a Crush: How he acts initially after falling in love with Buffy.
  • The Starscream: First to the Anointed One, then to Angelus, both successfully.
  • Start of Darkness: "Fool for Love" talks about Drusilla siring him back when he was "William Pratt".
  • Warrior Poet: Literally as he was a poet before he was transformed into a kickass vampire. Angel shows that he still writes them.
  • Wham Line: Several.
    Spike: "So you'll give me what I want. Make me what I was. So Buffy can get what she deserves."
    Demon: "Very well. We will return...your soul."
  • Wild Card: Spike has a natural ability to upset the expected order of things, especially with Buffy and Angel/us.
  • The Worf Effect: If someone's ass is gonna get kicked to show how powerful the Big Bad, odds are that it'll be Spike drawing the short straw.
  • You Are Number Six: The Initiative brands him "Hostile 17".

    Riley Finn 

Riley Finn (Marc Blucas)

"So, what have you got going on tonight?"
"Patrolling."
"Patrolling?"
"...Petroleum."
—Riley and Buffy

Initiative soldier and Buffy's Love Interest in Season 4 (and early Season 5). Put on a Bus, but came back for an episode in Season 6, and later on a recurring basis in the comics.
  • Amazon Chaser: Double Subverted. He likes Buffy's strength and skill, but after a while the fact that she's stronger than him chips away at his self confidence. Then he marries a Badass Normal action girl instead of one with Super Strength.
  • Badass: Professional soldier who can keep up with slayers and vampires.
  • Battle Couple: Riley is eager to form one with Buffy, but she finds his lack of superpowers cramps her style; his inability to measure up makes Riley feel inadequate even as a Love Interest. When Riley returns for one episode ("As You Were") in Season 6, he's married a Badass Normal Action Girl, forming a new Battle Couple.
  • Defector from Decadence: He was initially completely loyal to the Initiative, but as he uncovered more and more of its corruption, particularly after Professor Walsh attempted to kill Buffy in a Death Trap, he began to desire to leave. When the Initiative captured Oz, a werewolf, and conducted inhumane experiments on him even after he reverted to human form, that was the straw that broke the camel's back; he promptly turned his back on them in favor of the Scoobies and helped Buffy and co. break Oz out.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: "We can do this the hard way, or the fatal way."
  • Fantastic Drug: Became addicted to having his blood sucked by vampire prostitutes. No, that is not an Unusual Euphemism.
  • Fantastic Racism: At first he blasts the Scoobies and Willy the Snitch for harboring Spike and serving demons at his bar respectively, and later made negative comments on Willow's relationship with Oz, a werewolf. He grows out of it.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: He has a successful relationship with Buffy for some time, but it's made plain that she doesn't love him the way she loved Angel.
  • Rugged Scar: After coming back in season 6, he is shown to be much more proficient and gained a really cool scar over an eye.
  • Scars Are Forever: When he comes back in Season 6, he has your standard Awesome McCool scar across his left eye. He also has one from when he cut out Adam's mind control chip, and probably has another from when Adam stabbed him.
  • Super Soldier: On the mild side of "super", but he and the other Initiative troops are chemically augmented.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: He makes negative comments about Oz being a werewolf, leading to Buffy angrily calling him a bigot. However, when the Initiative capture and torture a human Oz despite his objections, he snaps out of it.
  • Wham Line: "But she doesn't love me."

    Dawn Summers 

Dawn Summers (Michelle Trachtenberg)

"We destroyed The Mall? ...I fought on the wrong side."

Buffy's younger sister who was Cosmic Retconned into existence in Season 5. She's actually a Key that could open dimensional barriers.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head - Buffy stroking Dawn's hair.
  • Age-Appropriate Angst: Joss thought so which is why he "scratched his head" when viewer response wasn't ideal. He later admitted the writers were "hitting the same note" with Dawn in Seasons 5-6.
  • Age Is Relative: Depending on how you look at her, when she first is seen in Buffy's bedroom, Dawn is either 14 billion years old, 14 years old, or mere minutes old.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Buffy thinks of Dawn as a burden to be endured quite often, and not only because of the usual younger sister nonsense.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Spilling her blood creates an interdimensional tear that brings down the walls separating the various worlds, thus destroying the entire multi-verse.
  • Artificial Human: She only looks human. Her existence is supernatural.
  • Badass Adorable: By the end of the series she's a fairly skilled hand-to-hand fighter, for a normal human, has a base level of competency when it comes to magic, speaks a dozen languages, and is generally Giles' number one backup when it comes to research.
  • Barrier Maiden: She's the key to opening dimensional barriers.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    Dawn: You sleep, right? Because if you hurt my sister, you'll wake up on fire.
    Spike: [later, to Buffy] Also, when did your sister become unbelievably scary?
  • Big Sister Worship: Dawn both resents and idolizes her superhero sister.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Dark Willow threatens to kill her just to put an end to her constant whining.
  • Break the Cutie: Most of the Fifth Season is one long trauma-line for Dawn. She is targeted by a Physical God for murder, her mother dies abruptly, and then her sister commits suicide in order to save her life. Its safe to say that it really was a bad year for Dawn. No wonder she starts acting out...
  • Characterization Marches On: She was originally conceived as a pre-teen, and when Trachtenberg was cast instead there wasn't enough time to rewrite the season's first few episodes to reflect her being a teenager. Around Glory's introduction, this got better.
  • Cosmic Retcon: When the Monks of Dagon changed the all-powerful orb of glowing green energy she used to be into a 14 year old girl, they also inserted an entire life history for her into the memories of everyone who could possibly have met her.
  • Cursed with Awesome: While being a giant and centaurette were annoying to her, she at least acknowledged they had some good points. Being turned into a doll wasn't funny.
    • According to Joss Whedon's script notes, Dawn Summers, being technically a clone of her older sister Buffy, should have been a potential Slayer, were it not for the fact that the Key, a force that was infinitely more powerful than the Slayer spirit, was already in residence in her body. Thus, her "potential" to be a potential Slayer was erased.
  • Damsel in Distress: The fact that Dawn is put in danger so often is even lamp-shaded.
    Buffy: "Dawn's in trouble. Must be Tuesday."
  • Dawson Casting: Considering how much the show made use of it, Dawn was a pleasant aversion; Michelle Trachtenberg started playing the 14-year-old Dawn when she was 14. It was done to ensure that she would look younger than her sister. Ironically, she became taller than her by Season 7.
  • Freak Out: Learning that her existence as a person was the creation of the Monks of Dagon shocked her so much that she sliced her own arm open just to see if she would really bleed.
  • Has Two Mommies: As part of the Cosmic Retcon, it's stated that she spends the night at Willow and Tara's place whenever she gets upset. Later they semi-adopt her when Buffy dies and move into her mom's old bedroom. When Willow and Tara separate early Season 6, Tara goes out of her way to assure Dawn, "This has nothing to do with you. You know we both still love you." Also, in Season 8, she directly says that Willow is like her mother.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: After her mother's death and Buffy's return, she gets increasingly sticky-fingered as a way to act out due to the trauma she'd endured.
  • The Load: Lampshaded in Season 6.
    "Dawn's in trouble. Must be Tuesday."
  • Remember the New Guy: A deconstruction. When people, including Dawn, discover her sudden appearance in reality was only recent and their memories of her are fake, they have obviously mixed reactions to both the information and towards her.
  • Shipper on Deck: Hardcore Willow / Tara fangirl because they're sort-of her parents.
  • The Smart Guy: By the last season of the show, Dawn had become an efficient researcher and a master linguist.
  • Wangst: See Age-Appropriate Angst above though it's worth noting there are times she can fall into this even in Season 7 (though not as much as in previous seasons).
  • Wham Line: Dawn has a couple, inadvertently or otherwise. Like when talking to Riley about Buffy's relationship with Angel:
    "Everyday was like the end of the world. She doesn't get worked up like that over you."
    • Or to her sister:
    "Buffy, Spike's completely in love with you."
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In a lot of Season 7, she seems to think she's in CSI.
  • Younger than She Looks: A 14-year old girl who is more than Really 700 Years Old and is technically no more than a few hours old when first introduced.

    Tara Maclay 

Tara Maclay (Amber Benson)

"That was funny if you've studied Taglarin mystic rites and...are a total dork."

Willow's love interest in Seasons 4-6. A capable witch, and a lot wiser about her powers than Willow. She's killed in Season 6. She and Willow are the longest-lasting lesbian couple in network television history, and one of the best known.
  • Ability Over Appearance: Producers were reluctant to cast Amber Benson as Tara in because they wanted someone with the same slender build as Alyson Hannigan. Specifically, they needed someone to take Willow's place as The Woobie, since Willow was becoming too powerful to convincingly put in any real danger. However, Benson quickly won them over with her ability to play awkward and vulnerable.
  • Abusive Parents: More like Abusive Family. As part of her family's misogynistic tyranny of the women of the clan, they told her she was half-demon her entire life and that if she ever left them for too long, she'd turn into a monster. Her own brother explicitly threatens to beat her up if she doesn't come with them.
  • All Witches Have Cats: Miss Kitty Fantastico, again! Though Tara was more interested in having a Cute Kitten than a witch's familiar.
  • Bad Liar: In "Intervention," Spike makes a Buffybot to have sex with, and Tara tells Dawn that he made it to play checkers with ("It sounded convincing when I thought it"). Dawn, of course, doesn't buy it for a second.
  • Closet Key: Willow didn't know she was into girls until she met Tara.
  • Clothing Reflects Personality: See Red Oni, Blue Oni. Tara also wears brighter and more attractive clothes in later seasons as she gains in confidence.
  • The Confidant: The only Scoobie that Buffy risks confessing to about her Secret Relationship with Spike. Tara is so sympathetic that a self-loathing Buffy breaks down in tears, begging Tara not to forgive her.
  • Cure Your Gays: Parodied in "Once More, With Feeling."
    "Oh my God, I'm cured! I want the boys!" (pretends to run off, only to collapse giggling into Willow's arms)
  • The Conscience: Tries to end Willow's abuse of magic, and ends their relationship when she won't listen.
  • Dead Star Walking: In "Seeing Red"
  • Fake Guest Star: Despite appearing in almost fifty episodes, she's still billed a guest star.
  • Famous Last Words: "Your shirt..."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Her love song to Willow in "Once More, With Feeling" is extremely touching, and also extremely sexy if you listen closely to what she's singing: "Willow, you make me complete." Whedon said after the fact that it was the dirtiest thing he'd ever written.
    Joss: Yeah... this is porn.
  • Hot Witch: Lampshaded in "Once More With Feeling"; having gained in confidence thanks to her relationship with Willow, she's dressing a lot more attractively.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Says two words, then dies.
  • Mind Rape: What Glory did in "Tough Love," and what Willow did in "All The Way."
  • N-Word Privileges: In this cut scene from "Dead Things".
    "Sweetie, I'm a fag. I've been there."
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: For one episode.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: When Willow and Tara first meet in Season 4, Tara wears blue and Willow wears red — Tara is shy, cautious yet with longer experience in magic use, while Willow is more powerful, impulsive and (by that stage) outgoing in personality.
  • Speech Impediment: Clearly an artifact of her abusive childhood, as it gets worse when her family comes to town, but almost disappears once she gains more confidence in herself.
  • Team Mom: Evolves into this during Seasons 5 and 6, thanks to her maturity and needed after Joyce's death.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth
  • Wham Line: If you thought Willow and Tara were "just friends"...
    Tara: I am, you know.
    Willow: What?
    Tara: Yours.
  • Wise Beyond Her Years: Despite being the most innocent of the Scoobies, Tara takes the revelation of Joyce's death much more like an adult than any other member of the gang. We later learn it's because her own mother died when she was 17, so she's been through this before.

    Characters/AngelBuffy The Vampire Slayer Antagonists
    Characters/Buffy the Vampire SlayerBuffy The Vampire Slayer Antagonists

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